Section 4: Flow of Personal Information for the Program

This section contains specific questions developed by the Treasury Board Secretariat for use in PIAs. In addition to summary information provided here, more detailed descriptions are provided elsewhere throughout the PIA.

4.1 Identify the source(s) of the personal information collected and / or how the personal information will be created.

As explained in Appendix 3, Statistics Canada collects personal information, directly and indirectly, for its statistical programs from a wide variety of sources: individuals, governments, businesses, other organizations. Prior to collecting any information, a statistical program must define the information required and the reason why it is required. This information is communicated to individuals from whom the information is requested, and is posted on the Statistics Canada web site. All Personal Information Banks (PIBs) at Statistics Canada are registered in the Treasury Board Secretariat publication Info Source.

4.2 Identify the areas, groups and individuals (both internal and external) who have access to or handle the personal information and to whom it is provided or disclosed.

Personal information is collected by employees of Statistics Canada. Through various standard procedures, the collected information is sent to Statistics Canada's Head Office, where it is stored, accessed and maintained. Only those employees with a work-related "need to know" may access the information. Occasionally deemed employeesFootnote 1 may be hired to assist with the statistical operations. Deemed employees of Shared Services Canada who provide IT services to Statistics Canada also access the information as part of their work responsibilities.

The Statistics Act requires that all personal information be kept confidential. There are certain exceptions defined where it may be released outside the organization. See Section 5.5.11 below for more detail.

4.3 Identify where the personal information will transit and will be stored or retained.

After the data collection, personal information is transmitted to Statistics Canada's Head Office using approved standard secure transmission procedures and systems, where it is stored, maintained and used. Statistics Canada's Policy on IT Security outlines requirements for access, use and storage of personal information. Statistics Canada has directives that specify the retention periods for all its statistical information. For personal information, the relevant directive is the Directive on the Management of Statistical Microdata Files.

4.4 Identify where groups and individuals can access the personal information.

Upon request, Statistics Canada will provide respondents with access to their personal information held by the agency, when it is held in identifiable form. To access one's own personal information under the Privacy Act, a formal request may be made to:

Access to Information and Privacy Officer
Statistics Canada
R.H. Coats Building, 26th floor
100 Tunney's Pasture Driveway
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T6
Telephone: 613-951-9869


Footnote 1

The federal Statistics Act allows Statistics Canada to use the services of individuals (persons, incorporated contractors, public servants) to do work for Statistics Canada without being an employee in the general sense of the term. The Act refers to these individuals as "deemed to be a person employed under this Act", hence the expression "deemed employee".

In short, a deemed employee is someone who is providing a specific service which, in most cases, involves having access to confidential information for statistical purposes. In performing this service, the person has the same obligations of a Statistics Canada employee to keep identifiable information confidential. If a breach were to occur, a deemed employee would be subject to the penalties described in the Act; i.e., fine and/or imprisonment.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Date modified: