Study reveals consumers have conflicting beliefs about digital privacy protection

New research from GetApp shows that Canadian consumers have conflicting beliefs about who should bear the responsibility for protecting digital privacy, with 41 per cent believing businesses should be in charge, and 25 per cent thinking it should be the federal government. 

Additionally, just over 60 per cent of consumers indicated that they were unsure Canada had a comprehensive law governing data privacy. 

Privacy is important to a lot of Canadians. In fact, 79 per cent of respondents reported taking a company’s data privacy practices into consideration before doing business with them. The study also showed that 46 per cent of respondents firmly believe that a company’s handling of their data reflects how it treats them as customers.

Willingness to share data varies among respondents. Sixty-seven per cent are willing to share their information if it means better, more efficient products or services, and 65 per cent are happy to provide information when it leads to more customized products.

But this percentage lowers depending on the company asking for it. Only about half of respondents are confident that individual data they share with online companies is secure. When judging the trustworthiness of a company, most consumers focus on regulation compliance and clear communication, both in how they use, and how they protect data.

When asked about their willingness to communicate their opinions via product ratings or reviews, 49 per cent of Canadian consumers said they were “very willing,” and 39 per cent stated the same regarding their demographic information. However, not surprisingly, 45 per cent of the respondents were highly unwilling to give financial information.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at sbalsara@itwc.ca

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