What Canadian Consumers Think of Data Privacy

The Canadian data landscape is changing, driven by consumers’ feelings about their privacy and control over their data. The Canadian Marketing Association sought to understand consumer perspectives and had Foresight Factory conduct a telling online survey. Here’s what businesses can learn from their research and findings:

Desire for Data Control

Canadian consumers overwhelmingly want more control over their data, said 84 percent of survey participants. Consumers want this control in two key areas: third-party access and deletion.

The majority of consumers (60 percent) feel they can’t intervene when a company wants to share their data with a third party. Additionally, the survey showed 57 percent of consumers feel they can’t force a company to delete their information.

Giving your customers and clients control over their data is a great way to gain their trust. If you make your policy on third-party sharing clear, and allow customers both to opt out of sharing and to delete their records entirely, you increase their overall comfort with your practices.

Trust is More Important than Benefits

Earning consumer trust is key if access to data is important for your business. While it’s true that consumers are more likely to give you their personal information if they get something valuable in return, it isn’t the most important factor.

Instead, the Canadian Marketing Association lists trust as a consumer’s most important priority. More consumers listed trust in their top three priorities, even over the runner-up “getting free services and products.” The idea that consumers are more motivated by trust than by free goods, or any other benefit, is critical and should inform your data practices.

Benefits are Still Important

While trust is primary, offering consumers benefits for their information is secondary. Right now, 79 percent of consumers believe businesses get more value from obtaining their personal information than they receive from sharing it.

Unlike other Canadian perspectives on data privacy, this is a fairly stable statistic across all age groups, with Baby Boomers slightly more likely to feel businesses take advantage of personal info than Millennials. Changing this perception is critical by communicating more effectively to customers about the value and benefits they are receiving.

Growing Comfort & Brand Loyalty

While Canadian consumers express the desire for more control over their data, with 77 percent of them having a concern about their online privacy, they are more comfortable with data exchanges than ever before. Just over half are happy with the amount of data they hand over to businesses, suggesting that if businesses can adapt to consumer’s expectations and add loyalty programs around the use of their personal data, consumers will continue to hand over the same amount of information.

As consumers’ comfort with data exchange increases, they may even begin to feel it is necessary and a part of a normal business transaction. In fact, 45 percent of Millennials consider data to be “essential for the smooth running of a modern society.” As the perception of data exchange grows as a valued and essential modern practice, getting your business’ data collecting practices right becomes more important than ever.

Luckily, there are many resources out there to guide you. At Direct Response Media Group our team is always up-to-date with data best practices, especially as it relates to your marketing campaigns. Contact us to get started with a campaign that furthers your business and expands consumers’ trust.


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