Longitudinal Immigration Database - Privacy impact assessment


The Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) traces the economic outcomes of immigrants to Canada. The IMDB combines landing information from Citizenship and Immigration Canada's administrative files with taxation records from Canada Revenue Agency. The target population consists of all immigrants who have landed since 1980 and who are taxfilers.


A privacy impact assessment was initiated because of significant changes to the Longitudinal Immigration Database that were approved by Statistics Canada's Policy Committee (the Agency's senior executive committee, chaired by the Chief Statistician). This assessment was conducted to determine if there were any privacy, confidentiality and security issues associated with these changes, and if so, to make recommendations for their resolution or mitigation.


The IMDB is longitudinal, following the employment and income trajectories and the geographical mobility of individual immigrants through time. Since its first official data release in 1997, the IMDB has generated findings on the impact of selection criteria and other key policy levers on the economic outcomes of immigrants, their social integration and settlement patterns.


This assessment concludes that, with existing Statistics Canada safeguards as well as the additional measures that have been put into place for the Longitudinal Immigration Database, the risk of inadvertent disclosure is extremely low. The privacy implications are outweighed by the importance of the data to public policy. The governance mechanisms in place constitute safeguards against inappropriate use of the data. Through its periodic review by Policy Committee, Statistics Canada regularly assesses the continued relevance of the IMDB and the value of the information against the implied privacy invasion.

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