More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Canadians in general, and 86 per cent of millennials, are pragmatic or unconcerned about sharing their personal data, according to research released last week by the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA).
“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 CMA’s president and CEO. “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, is based on research conducted by Foresight Factory in 10 countries (Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States) on behalf of the Global Alliance of Data-Driven Marketing Associations. Findings are based on an online survey, conducted in November 2017, of at least 1,000 people in each market. It was released concurrent with the Europe Union’s General Data Protection Regulations coming into effect on May 26, 2018.
In addition, to showing that most Canadians are willing to share personal data, the study reveals 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.
“Canadians expect governments, marketers and consumers to work together to ensure that personal information is protected,” Wiltshire notes. “The CMA will continue to work with its members, consumers and government to achieve this, while ensuring a healthy, competitive environment where businesses can succeed.”
The study also found:
- While 77 per cent of Canadians (67 per cent of millennials) have some concern about their online privacy, more than half (55 per cent) are happy with the amount of personal information they give to organizations.
- Forty percent of consumers (44 per cent of millennials) state they feel comfortable with data exchanges.
- 36 per cent of consumers (39 per cent of millennials) say that, as long as data is not abused, privacy is less of an issue than it used to be.