The Canadian government’s Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) just handed over the credit scores, personal incoming data, addresses and household debt load of nine million Canadians to researchers, think tanks and policy wonks.
You probably didn’t hear about it because the government didn’t bother to ask for permission before bureaucrats violated the privacy of so many Canadians, potentially for profit.
Blacklock’s Reporter has been on this story for three years, and their most recent article from October detailed the sheer volume of Canadians harmed by the data scoop:
The data mining, the largest yet by a federal agency, occurred without any parliamentary oversight. Records indicate the Office of the Privacy Commissioner was never consulted.
The Superintendent in a 28-page Privacy Protocol said it would only surrender records if CMHC obtained borrowers’ consent. None was sought, according to files. CMHC instead asked banks to agree to share their customers’ information.
CMHC also used information from the nine million individual accounts to provide data to builders, economists and lenders through a so-called “Housing Data Exchange.” The agency did not explain if data were sold, but said all personal information was removed before the information was compiled for the Data Exchange.
Rebel News filed for access to information for further records.
We wanted any copies of the communications regarding CMHC’s collection of data on mortgage holders since January 18, 2018.
I wanted to know if the private financial information of Canadians was sold by the government agency entrusted with it, and for how much.
We didn’t receive the records we wanted.
Instead, we received a letter letting us the government needed a year to turn over the documents — 330 days, plus the 30 days they could take to get back to us under the current information access laws.
They have to reach out to the people involved in the communications to get their permission before turning them over. Weird how that works.
This delay is no surprise.
In fact, we expected nothing less. Blacklock’s has experienced three years of delays already to get the information they have.
We’re going to keep looking.
But it will take time and money. To help fund our access to information and government accountability reporting, please consider a donation at www.RebelInvestigates.com.