A Majority of Canadians are OK with Sharing their Personal Data

According to a new research study more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Canadians, are pragmatic or unconcerned about sharing their personal data. This view is even more prevalent among Canadians millennials, at 86 per cent.

“The study tells us that three of four Canadians are willing to share personal data in order to receive benefits, as long as the data is properly protected,” said John Wiltshire, the President of the Canadian Marketing Association. “Higher rated benefits include free products and services, greater value for money, improved service and tailored offers,” he noted.

The study, Data Privacy – What the Canadian consumer really thinks, shows that consumer comfort with data-sharing is increasing. Forty per cent of consumers (44 per cent of millennials) state they feel comfortable with data exchanges. Two-thirds of Canadians (66 per cent) agree that disclosing personal information is increasingly part of modern life and more than a third (35 per cent) even agree it’s essential for the smooth running of modern society (including 45 per cent of millennials).

“Canadians benefit when businesses, governments and not-for-profit organizations are able to focus their outreach on the people most interested in their products and services,” Wiltshire said. “Technology enables organizations to provide and enhance personalized services at a lower cost to consumers.”

The study states that, similar to global consumers, Canadians value transparency, trust and control as the bedrock on which brands must build their data-informed relationships with consumers.

Consumers are split on whether responsibility for their data security rests with individuals (40 per cent) or a combination of individuals, government and brands working together (40 per cent). Few wish to rely solely on government institutions (8 per cent) or brands (5 per cent) to safeguard personal data.

With the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect in Canada and the European Union (EU) today, this study is especially timely.