Petition for financial privacy rights ends March 1

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Feb. 28 will be the last day for Canadians to sign a public petition which opposes Statistics Canada obtaining the private banking information of 500,000 Canadians.

This banking information would be selected at random from Canadians across the country. Statcan’s proposed pilot project would collect personal financial transactions and SIN numbers to create a database of Canadian household spending habits.

Statcan informed nine institutions last year that they were required to hand over the information of 500,000 Canadians, which they are able to do by law. This created much debate and backlash through the country, from debates in the House of Commons to petitions like this.

Canada’s Chief Statistician, Anil Arora said in a statement  last Oct. that the date would be used for providing Canadians stats on housing, debt and the impact of a gig economy.

On Oct. 31 2018 The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien, announced an investigation into complaints made against Statscan, which is under way.

The Statscan pilot project was supposed to begin in Jan. 2019, but has since been delayed until the investigation is complete

The petition, started by Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, seeks to cancel the proposed project and closes at 12:33 a.m. on the morning if March 1.

So far the petition has garnered over 23,000 signatures, 28 of them coming from the Northwest Territories.

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