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Privacy and confidentiality

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The Statistics Act

The Statistics Act requires that all census information be kept confidential. No person or institution outside Statistics Canada can access census information provided by individual respondents, and this includes other government departments and agencies, the courts and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Data security

The security of your information is of paramount importance to Statistics Canada. Census data are stored on Statistics Canada systems that are isolated from any other network. External devices, such as telephone dial-in services that connect to Statistics Canada's systems where confidential data are stored, are not available, making it impossible to break into Statistics Canada's databases.

In addition, Statistics Canada has controlled access to its premises so that only persons with the appropriate security clearance who have taken the oath of secrecy may enter facilities housing confidential data. Any private sector employees needing entrance to these premises are escorted at all times by a Statistics Canada employee. Only Statistics Canada employees see your Census of Agriculture questionnaire and data.

Privacy and the Internet

Statistics Canada takes the protection of confidential information provided online very seriously. A secure login process and strong encryption are key elements in helping to prevent anyone from accessing or tampering with your census information when you complete and send it online.

For your protection, we require that you login to secure areas of the census website using your Internet access code. When you login successfully, your web browser will establish a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection between your computer and the census web servers. All the information you provide will be encrypted round-trip between your browser and Statistics Canada with strong 1024-bit encryption. Two-way encryption provides a way to transmit data at a significantly more secure level than what is normally used on websites. It also allows you to return to the long census form multiple times over several days while safely retaining and protecting your personal information.

Confidentiality procedures

Statistics Canada places the highest priority on maintaining the confidentiality of information from individual census questionnaires at all stages of the census process. All tabulated data are subject to confidentiality procedures, including a series of computerized checks on each data table to suppress any data concerning a particular agricultural operation or individual. In all cases, however, suppressed data are included in the aggregate subtotals and totals in each table. Data for geographic areas with very few agricultural operations are not released separately, but are merged with data from one or more geographically adjacent areas.