OTTAWA – Canada’s privacy watchdog intends to look into the Trudeau government’s new online survey on electoral reform after concerns have been raised about invasion of privacy.
Canadians must be willing to disclose detailed personal information if they want their views on electoral reform to be included in the results of the online questionnaire.
The MyDemocracy.ca survey does not ask respondents to reveal their names but it does ask them to disclose gender, age, highest level of education attained, occupational work area, combined household income, first language learned, level of interest in politics and current events, and whether they identify as a member of a specific minority group.
Respondents are also asked to provide their postal codes so that their region of residence can be determined – a request that’s particularly raising eyebrows.
Ottawa University technology law expert Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce law, says in many instance supplying a postal code would be enough to identify the individual.
A spokeswoman for privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien says his office hasn’t yet looked into the survey in detail but intends to follow up and learn more about it.