A research paper commissioned by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada concludes:
The current reality is that the parties are managing vast databases within which a variety of sensitive personal information from disparate sources is processed. For the most part, individuals have no legal rights to learn what information is contained therein, to access and correct those data, to remove themselves from the systems, or to restrict the collection, use and disclosure of their personal data. For the most part, parties have no legal obligations to keep that information secure, to only retain it for as long as necessary, and to control who has access to it.
The entire March 2012 paper, Canadian Federal Political Parties and Personal Privacy Protection: A Comparative Analysis, can be viewed at:
I see this is blogged (summarized) here…
Canadian Privacy Officer Condemns Revenue Practices http://bit.ly/1bJ4crK So will you trust them with your #FATCA data?
Is no Canadian worried about this?
What really worries me is that the current Privacy Commissioner, who was appointed for a ten-year term by the previous Liberal government, is leaving her job next month. Stephen Harper gets to replace her for ten years with someone else. That is scary.
It is suspected that the Conservatives or people working under contract for them, in the last election and in certain ridings, sent out emails to some voters (but not all) giving false information about a change of polling station locations, shortly before election day. An investigation by Elections Canada confirmed this happened in at least one riding. I suspect that the Tory contractors probably compared the Tories’ list of members and donors in the riding with the voters list and other canvassing information and targeted voters whom they suspected were likely to vote for one of the other parties. I wouldn’t however put it past the Liberals or the NDP to pull similar stunts, especially in marginal ridings, though this sort of thing is illegal. Probably less likely to happen again now it’s been uncovered, I believe charges are being laid, and people are going to be a lot more skeptical about anything that doesn’t come straight from Elections Canada (and impersonating Elections Canada officials would be a criminal offense I believe).
I agree it’s a concern, but no more so than the abuse of data by credit card companies, on-line vendors, and so on. The whole data security issue is disturbing. Particularly in grocery stories, which are notorious for milking marketing data obtained from credit-card companies, I usually pay cash for my purchases (and get really annoyed at how long it takes everyone else to remember their damn PINs for their cards, while I’ve gone to the trouble of using untraceable and unresearchable cash which also means I can pay a hell of a lot faster and not hold up the damn queue). But that’s another rant for another blog somewhere, maybe.
Regarding privacy and government surveillance:
‘Someone to watch over us:
Back to the panopticon?’
2001 SAGE Publications
Vol. 1(3): 251–276; 018478
…”First, surveillance itself is a function which governments have been
willing to assign to the private sector. For instance, in the state of Victoria the setting up and maintenance of traffic and red light cameras is being moved into the hands of private corporations (Victoria, Auditor-General,2000, para. 3.4). Another instance is the practice of requiring banks and other financial institutions to report suspicious transactions to government,under financial transactions reporting legislation which is designed to deter money laundering, tax avoidance and serious crime (Commonwealth,
1988). The monitoring obligations which may fall upon financial institu-
tions under federal and state laws concerned with the confiscation of
proceeds of crime are similar.
15…….”……………. Many government agencies have the power to demand that private sector entities disclose the personal or financial information of third parties in order to enforce the agencies’ special statutory mandates.
The Australian Tax Office and the Department of Social Security are