Statistics Canada’s proposal to collect a range of detailed financial data from 500,000 Canadians has certainly touched a nerve.
Many commentators argue this invades privacy and is overreach, while only a few brave pundits defend the plan. The tide of public opinion has turned and our system of official statistics is under serious threat. Three questions need answering.
- First, why does Statistics Canada need financial transactions data?
- Second, how does direct access to financial records make official statistics more reliable and efficient?
- Third, are the financial data that Statistics Canada wishes to access all that different from the information already shared by the financial industry?