Fear of falsification prevents release of some electronic data: minister

The Conservative cabinet minister responsible for freedom of information says some federal data cannot be released to the public in electronic format because people might alter it and spread falsehoods.

OTTAWA — The Conservative cabinet minister responsible for freedom of information says some federal data cannot be released to the public in electronic format because people might alter it and spread falsehoods.

Treasury Board President Tony Clement says there’s a fear people could “create havoc” by changing the statistical information.

Federal agencies hold a vast array of data on everything from immigrants held in detention to use of force by RCMP officers.

Some researchers have requested data kept in electronic format, only to receive it as a paper printout.

That makes it virtually impossible for the recipient to sort and filter the data to identify patterns and trends.

The Access to Information Act says federal agencies must provide timely access to records in the format requested

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