New Dissemination Model Online Beta Consultation - Privacy impact assessment


In November 2014, as part of the New Dissemination Model, Statistics Canada is preparing to launch a beta website for the purpose of engaging and seeking further input from Canadians by inviting them to discuss, comment and rate features of the beta website.


A privacy impact assessment for the New Dissemination Model Online Beta Consultation was conducted to determine if there were any privacy, confidentiality and security issues associated with the consultation, and to make recommendations for their resolution or mitigation as required.


The beta website will be made available from various pages on the Statistics Canada website.

Participants are asked to provide a user name (alias) and their email address, which may be used to correspond with them if required. The comment sections will be moderated. Users will be informed that their comments will be held until they are vetted by the moderator.

Unregistered visitors may also take part in consultations by completing a form available on each page. These comments will not be posted online. There will also be a 5-star rating tool available on every page.

Risk Area Identification and Categorization

The privacy impact assessment also identifies the risk areas and categorizes the level of potential risk (level 1 representing the lowest level of potential risk and level 4, the highest) associated with the collection and use of personal information.

Personal information of participants:

  • Type of program or activity – Level 1: Program or activity that does not involve a decision about an identifiable individual.
  • Type of personal information involved and context – Level 1: Only personal information, with no contextual sensitivities, collected directly from the individual or provided with the consent of the individual for disclosure under an authorized program.
  • Program or activity partners and private sector involvement – Level 1: Within the institution (among one or more programs within the same institution).
  • Duration of the program or activity – Level 2: Short-term program or activity (November 12, 2014 to December 19, 2014).
  • Program population – Level 3: The program's use of personal information for external administrative purposes affects certain individuals.
  • Personal information transmission – Level 1: The personal information is used within a closed system (no connections to the Internet, Intranet or any other system and the circulation of hardcopy documents is controlled).
  • Technology and privacy: The platform will use the Drupal software, which has already been implemented for other Statistics Canada online products, including StatCan Blog, Question of the Month and Chat with an Expert.
  • Privacy breach: There is a very low risk of personal information being disclosed. Participants are responsible for the information that they post. Statistics Canada will not post comments that contain personal information.


This assessment of the New Dissemination Model Online Beta Consultation did not identify any privacy risks that cannot be managed using existing safeguards.

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