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Privacy watchdog recommends better privacy protection in electoral reform survey

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien has opened an investigation into the federal government's online electoral reform survey.
Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien has opened an investigation into the federal government's online electoral reform survey. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The federal privacy watchdog has opened a formal investigation into the Justin Trudeau government’s much-maligned online survey on electoral reform, which asks participants to disclose detailed personal information.

But privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien is not waiting to conclude the investigation before taking action to protect Canadians’ privacy.

READ MORE: Your electoral reform survey won’t count if you don’t tell them how much you make

Spokeswoman Valerie Lawton says Therrien has provided preliminary recommendations to the government aimed at better protecting the privacy of people who participate in the MyDemocracy.ca survey.

Lawton confirms that Therrien’s office will investigate a complaint about the survey and hopes to have the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

The survey runs until the end of the month.

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The MyDemocracy.ca site does not ask respondents to reveal their names, but it does ask them to disclose gender, age, postal code, 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.

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