Canadians feel they have lost control of their personal data. Research released by Interac reveals that 77% of Canadians feel their personal data is more exposed than ever before. Amid concerns that companies have access to too much of their data (72%), only 40% of Canadians feel confident in their ability to keep their online personal information safe. Eight in 10 (80%) want greater control over their online information and how it is shared.
“Consumers are increasingly concerned about the privacy and security of their personal data. They are dissatisfied with the status quo,” said Colette Stewart, Managing Counsel and Enterprise Privacy Lead at Interac.

“Our survey results underscore the opportunity to build Canadians’ confidence by simplifying the consent process for when, where, and how frequently they share their data. And subsequently the role organisations play in meeting these needs and expectations.”

Some 87% of Canadians believe they should be able to tell organisations to delete their personal information whenever they choose. Canadians are also looking for consent to be simple. Six in ten (59%) say they can’t clearly consent to how their personal information is shared because they don’t understand the terms and conditions they are agreeing to. And 65% say it’s because the language describing data usage is often vague.

Canadian open banking legislation on the horizon

The Federal government is preparing to introduce legislation on open banking. Interac reports that Canadians are optimistic about its prospects. But they are also interested in what measures will be taken to ensure their data is protected.

Two thirds of Canadians (65%) welcome the potential open banking holds in giving them more control of their financial data. Other benefits of open banking that appeal to Canadians include the ability to securely access and share their financial data with financial service providers (54%) and protection from risky practices that are being used today such as screen scraping (60%). Additionally, nearly half (47%) say having the ability to revoke consent would enhance their confidence while using open banking.
“As Canada moves to provide consumers with greater control over financial data via consumer-driven banking, its adoption and utility hinges on strong privacy, data protection and consumer trust,” added Kashmera Self, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Interac.

“At Interac, we have long focused on designing products and services that operate with individual choice at the centre. We have seen first-hand the value of a privacy-first mindset in earning the trust of Canadians.

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Connection concerns

The rise in connected technologies is adding to Canadians’ concerns about their personal information. Nearly half of respondents (48% are very concerned. A further 44% are slightly concerned about how connected technologies are using their personal information, but feel the benefits of connected technologies outweigh the risks.

Trust is withering among consumers for how their data is handled by companies they have agreed to share it with. 66% believe that companies are sharing their data and personal information with other organisations without their consent.

Inadequate solutions

The solutions available in the market today are not perceived to be meeting the needs and expectations of Canadians. Some 71% of Canadian feel the protection measures available today are not sufficient to protect their privacy.

Meantime, 59% say they are asked to share their personal information when online more often than makes them comfortable. Just over half of Canadians (51%) feel like they are losing control over their personal information.

Consent expectations

Canadians expect certain consumer protection measures to be in place. These include the ability to provide consent each time their personal data is used instead of just one-time consent (75%). This underscores the need for convenient consent options allowing consumers to take charge of their data on an ongoing basis.