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Privacy watchdog to look into electoral reform survey

MyDemocracy.ca survey does not ask for names but it does request other personal information


 

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.


 
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Privacy watchdog to look into electoral reform survey

  1. I for one don’t care who knows the views I expressed on the MyDemocracy website. I would have given them my name and address if they had asked for it. This privacy protection thing is getting a bit out of hand in my view. (At least they didn’t ask for my e-mail address which Maclean’s does before they let you make a comment.)

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