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Census Changes Enacted Due to Privacy Concerns

PRIVACY LAW—CANADA

July 15, 2010

The Canadian government has scaled back census laws, to remove a mandatory requirement that all Canadians complete a long-form census, citing widespread privacy concerns, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. Industry Minister Tony Clement said, "the government of Canada received complaints about the long-form census from citizens who felt it was an intrusion of their privacy." But Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) spokesperson Anne-Marie Hayden noted that her office has received only three complaints in the last 10 years. "We've worked closely with the agency to make sure Canadians' privacy rights are respected throughout the census process," she said, adding that, in general, the OPC is satisfied with the privacy protections that are in place.
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