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Don Rogers, a retired federal civil servant and outspoken census protester, doesn't like that the company behind the census-form scanning technology Lockheed Martin Canada, is a subsidiary of the U.S.'s largest military contractor.
The decision to hire the company caused an uproar in 2003, with some privacy advocates, peace groups and politicians arguing U.S. officials could use the USA Patriot Act to compel Lockheed Martin to hand over confidential census data. The Patriot Act allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation to force U.S. companies to secretly share data.
Under pressure, Stats Can said it changed the contract to ensure census data can't be accessed by employees of Lockheed Martin and another U.S. subsidiary, IBM Canada.
Does Statistics Canada have a contract with Lockheed Martin?
Yes. Following an open, competitive and stringent bidding process, Lockheed Martin Canada along with IBM Canada and Transcontinental Printing Canada are required to provide hardware, software and printing services to Statistics Canada for the 2006 Census. At no point does any contractor collect, handle, or possess confidential census responses.
How safe are census data from the Patriot Act?
Completely. The information collected from Canadians will be, at all times, under the exclusive care and full control of Statistics Canada employees. At no time do contractors have access to or possess confidential Census responses. Thus, even if a request were made to any contractor to hand-over or transmit Census data, it would be physically impossible for them to comply.