Joe Anonymous

Release date: March 1, 2019

Joe Anonymous - Transcript

Did you know that StatCan data can impact your pension and wage rate? Or that business decisions or your eligibility for a loan depend on our quality and timely data?

But there are some misconceptions about how we acquire some of our data, and it is clear from discussions that Canadians have many questions concerning how we anonymize their information.

So let's try to explain the processes in place that prevent the sharing of your personal, private and financial information. First know we are obligated to fully protect and safeguard your privacy – it is the law.

Your personal information has always—and will always be—protected.

This is not just a commitment, it is built into our work and our culture. None of your private information can be released under any law. To anyone. No exceptions.

Let's detail precisely how we protect your information.

When your data arrives at Statistics Canada—whether it be from surveys or administrative data sources—some of your private information is used to create a demographic profile. Then we remove and lock away the private information, keeping only data like gender, age and region.

Let's use Joe Jupiter as an example.

Joe buys food, clothing, and hockey tickets online. This data is collected by StatCan.

From there, Joe Jupiter's identity is removed from his data. And all that we keep, for analytical purposes, is the general information such as his age, gender and region. This information is merged with information from other people who share the same gender, age, and geographical region.

With thousands of up-to-date records collected in a similar manner, we are able to provide important information to improve government programs and policies. The results of these statistics can also provide you with useful information.

We want to assure you that all the information we collect is kept in the strictest confidence.

No information is ever released that would identify you, your family, or your business.

That is our promise to you.

Transparency is important to us. On our website, you'll find a list of our surveys and administrative data sources, and how they're used.

Delivering insight through data for a better Canada.

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