80% of Canadians Believe Total Data Privacy ‘No Longer Exists’

The vast majority of consumers in North America believe total privacy in the digital world no longer exist.

80 percent of consumers aged 20 to 40 believe this—but half would not object to having their buying behavior tracked if it would result in relevant offers from brands and suppliers, according to new data from Accenture.

Privacy concerns aside, the study indicates that these consumers continue to embrace digital technology in pursuit of a good deal. In fact, 64 percent said that when they are physically in a store, they would welcome text messages from that retailer alerting them to offers matching their buying preferences.

However, consumers continue to be cautious about the use of their personal information. According to the survey, 87 percent believe adequate safeguards are not in place to protect their personal information; 64 percent are concerned about websites tracking their buying behavior; and 56 percent say they are trying to safeguard their privacy by inputting their credit card information each time they make an online purchase rather than having that data stored for future use.

70 percent of Canadians believe businesses aren’t transparent about how their information is being used, while 68 percent say there is not enough transparency around what is being done with their information, according to Accenture, while 40 percent believe that just 10 percent of their personal data is actually private.

“In today’s digital age where consumers are connected and empowered and data is abundant, businesses must align their organizations, technology and strategies to deliver relevant and loyalty-enabling experiences to their consumers,” says Glen Hartman, global managing director of Digital Transformation for Accenture Interactive.

“When pursuing that seamless customer experience, businesses must balance the need for security and data privacy with the desire to provide an exceptional customer experience,” he continued.

Consumers in the 20-40 age groups are ubiquitous users of digital technology across multiple mobile platforms. Respondents own between three and four digital devices per person, on average, and 27 percent own more than four devices. They also spend an average of six to six and a half hours per day using a digital device for personal activities, according to the report.