Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing Monitoring Program - Privacy impact assessment summary


A new monitoring program of household survey interviews conducted by Statistics Canada field interviewers is being introduced. The Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) Monitoring Program will:

  • facilitate the evaluation of data quality of surveys conducted in households as well as interviewers' performance;
  • provide a means to better identify the training needs of field interviewers both generally and specific to individual surveys; and
  • more easily identify potential problems related to the collection tool or the questionnaire itself such as questions that elicit improper or inaccurate responses.


A privacy impact assessment for Statistics Canada's CAPI Monitoring Program was conducted to determine if there were any privacy, confidentiality and security issues associated with the program, and if so, to make recommendations for their resolution or mitigation.


For many years, there has been a monitoring program at Statistics Canada Headquarters and regional offices for surveys that are conducted by telephone. The program involves supervisors listening to the interview and subsequently assessing the interviewer's performance on select criteria.

For field interviewers who conducted face-to-face interviews in households of respondents, it has not been possible to have a similar program. Until now the principal means to collect information to assess the quality of interviews was to re-interview survey respondents or to have a senior Interviewer accompany the Interviewer to the respondent's home to observe the Interviewer's performance. However, re-interviewing respondents has proven to be cumbersome as well as having many disadvantages: it increases the burden on respondents by having them do the interview a second time; respondents tend to answer questions from a subjective perception rather than against specific criteria; and finally, in many cases, respondents may not recall the specific answers they had previously provided. The observation program significantly increases the cost of conducting the survey.

Therefore, the CAPI Monitoring Program will employ a computer program that will make an audio recording of interviews as the interviewer enters the respondent's answers onto his/her laptop computer. The recording will serve as a means for the interview to be assessed after it is being conducted according to the objectives listed above.

Because the recording contains information collected under the authority of the Statistics Act, the confidentiality provisions of the Act are applicable. This means that all security procedures and measures to protect the confidentiality of the information are in place. To address related privacy issues, additional measures have been implemented such as clarification on the use and retention of these files.


This assessment of the CAPI Monitoring Program did not identify any risks that cannot be managed using existing safeguards for the protection of confidential survey data and putting in place additional safeguards specific to this program.

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