Canadian consumers voice concerns about online privacy

Ellie Duncan
30 Jan 2023

The majority of Canadian consumers are worried about protecting their online privacy, and hold organisations accountable for the use and storage of their personal data, according to new research.

The survey, by payment services provider Interac, found that 69% are worried about how their personal information is being sold or transferred without their consent, rising to 74% of Canadians who want more control over their online information.

Among the 1,500 respondents, 76% said that being able to protect their online privacy is a worry.

The research revealed that only 6% of Canadians feel their personal information is being used for its intended purpose, while 58% think it is being used to track their location, 32% for manipulating their beliefs, and 31% for stealing their identity.

According to the Interac survey findings, the point of sign-in – which requires verification of identity to access online services or activities – is a critical opportunity for organisations to build trust with their customers.

More than half of Canadians (53 per cent) believe organisations are primarily responsible for protecting their personal information, and 69% would hold them accountable in the event of a data breach.

While 49% of respondents supported using their financial institution login details to verify their identity during the sign-in process, only 37% have heard of using their financial institution credentials to verify identity during sign-in.

“When customers sign into an online service, they are putting their trust in that provider to keep their data safe,” said Colette Stewart, senior legal counsel and privacy lead at Interac.

“As Canadians hold organisations accountable for the use and storage of data, entities of all sizes have an imperative to provide clear guidelines on how personal information will be used and to enable increased control for users when it comes to managing their privacy online.”