Canadians choosing data control and privacy above all else when engaging with brands: Okta survey

Nearly 90 per cent of Canadians believe it is important that they have control over their personal information when interacting with a brand online, Okta’s first-ever Global Customer Identity Trends Report, released today, found.

Over 21,000 consumers from 14 countries were surveyed between Aug. 2022 and Feb. 2023, including more than 1500 across Canada.

The report shows that 76 per cent of Canadians are willing to even compromise a frictionless user experience with a brand for control over their data.

But businesses really win when they can offer both convenience and security.

“Canadians want control over their data, but the businesses who can also give the best user experience will win out by creating more meaningful relationships with their customers,” said Dan Kagan, senior vice president and country manager of Okta in Canada. “Security and control do not need to come at the cost of frictionless experiences.”

Sixty-five per cent of Canadians say that they would be more likely to spend money when offered a simple, secure and frictionless login process. Another 51 per cent say that logging in with traditional username and password is the most convenient and secure measure, followed by multi-factor authentication (42 per cent) and biometric authentication (34 per cent).

But at the same time, nearly 70 per cent of respondents say they feel overwhelmed by the number of usernames and passwords they have, and as a result frequently have trouble accessing their accounts because they have forgotten their passwords.

Having many accounts also increases their exposure to data breaches, the report shows, but, surprisingly, at least 70 per cent say they are aware of their own security practices and think they are doing enough to keep their data protected. Only seven per cent say they are not aware of their own security practices and feel vulnerable.

Meanwhile, over 60 per cent say they have been creating strong passwords, 48 per cent are restricting the data they share and 45 per cent are using different passwords for all their accounts. Password managers also help, but only a quarter are using one.

Things like digital wallets are also quickly gaining momentum, with over 42 per cent of Canadians using them either every day or weekly.

However, control over data remains a priority. As a matter of fact, 51 per cent said they would not trust anybody but themselves to own or secure their data behind their personal digital wallet. 

Others either just do not believe their data will be protected (49 per cent) with digital wallets, do not like their information being online (43 per cent) or do not want to leave behind a digital footprint (39 per cent).

Further, only a small percentage of Canadians say they could trust the government, cybersecurity companies or non-profit organizations to hold and secure their personal digital wallet data.

With the problems remembering passwords, trusting digital wallets, and surging data breaches, businesses should “make passwordless authentication methods the norm for consumers so that they can engage in the digital world seamlessly and safely,” said Kagan.

See the full report here. (Registration required)

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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