Protecting your privacy

Statistics Canada takes every precaution to protect your information. The latest technologies are used to ensure that Statistics Canada’s strict security and confidentiality requirements are met.

The Statistics Act (opens in a new window) specifically requires that information about individuals be protected and kept strictly confidential. The federal Privacy Act (opens in a new window) also protects personal information held by Statistics Canada.

The 2024 Census Test

In Canada, great care is taken to ensure that information collected from a census is clearly in the public interest, cannot be obtained effectively from other sources, and can be collected efficiently to meet information requirements.

Part of the process of preparing for the 2026 Census involves conducting the 2024 Census Test.

Census test data are not collected for publication; they are collected to prepare for the census. As such, they are not released in any form, including as historical records 92 years after the census test.

Confidentiality of online questionnaires and job applications

Encryption technologies ensure that the information passing between respondents’ or applicants’ computers and the agency’s web server is secure.

Statistics Canada places the highest priority on maintaining the confidentiality and security of completed questionnaires. Stringent measures and procedures are followed to ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times.

Who can access census data?

  • All Statistics Canada employees are sworn to secrecy when they are hired, and this continues even after their employment ends. Employees remain under oath, whether they are working from Statistics Canada buildings or other secure locations, such as their private residence.
  • Only Statistics Canada employees with a need to know have access to personal and confidential information. All employees go through a justification and approval process.
  • Census employees can access census data only from secure Statistics Canada locations.
  • These employees are able to collect, process and analyze completed questionnaires. They may access only the data they are working on.
  • Private contractors never have access to confidential data.

Internal safeguards

  • Access to Statistics Canada buildings is controlled by a combination of physical measures and access procedures.
  • Census and census test data are processed and stored on a highly restricted internal network and cannot be accessed by anyone who has not taken the oath of secrecy.
  • Powerful firewalls, intrusion detection systems and stringent access control procedures limit access to computer systems and databases.
  • All work-related information and documents are secured according to Statistics Canada Security Classification Standards, whether employees are working from Statistics Canada buildings or other secure locations such as their private residence.
  • Any suspected breach of the confidentiality of census and census test questionnaires is a serious matter that is investigated immediately and thoroughly, and would be subject to the full force of the Statistics Act.

Confidentiality of chatbot conversations

Statistics Canada will ensure that your chatbot conversation remains confidential. It will be used only for the purposes of addressing your questions, as well as for analysis and continuous service improvement. For more information, please consult the chatbot terms of use.

Recognizing census test communications

Did you receive an email, a letter or a mailing card related to the 2024 Census Test? Did a census test employee call you or knock on your door? Visit Recognizing census test communications to make sure that these are legitimate communications from Statistics Canada.