CSEC, department stores, telcos least
trusted with private data
TORONTO JUNE 15th,
2014 – In
a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1433
Canadians 18 years of age and older, fully three quarters disagreed with the
central provisions of the federal government's 'anti-cyber bullying law', or
bill C-13 (73%) and just 1-in-7 approve (15%). Disapproval is strongest among
the youngest (78%), males (77%), mid ($40K to $60K) and high income groups ($80K
to $100K - 78% each) and among New Democrats (80%).
4-in-10 post confidential information
Four-in-ten Canadians post confidential private information,
such as credit card numbers, social insurance numbers or birth dates online
(40%), and this behaviour is common to the youngest (52%), those in mid income
groups ($60 to $80K - 45%), in Atlantic Canada (48%) and Alberta (44%). Close
to 6-in-10 have not posted this kind of data online (57%) and fewer than one
twentieth have no computers or online access (4%).
Wide majority expect online data to
As many as 8-in-10 of those who post private data online
expect this data to remain private (79%), while one seventh are less sanguine
about their privacy (15%). Fewer than one tenth don't have an opinion (6%).
Expectations of privacy are highest among the oldest (87%), the wealthiest
($80K+ - 85%) in Atlantic Canada and Alberta.
Bank data seen to be most crucial to
When asked which type of data breach would be most serious,
the plurality, one third, select the release of bank account numbers and
balances (33%), followed closely by credit card numbers and data (25%) and only
then by medical files (12%).
Family doctor most trusted with private
data, department stores least trusted
More than 6-in-10 Canadians trust their family doctor
"a great deal " with their private information (61%), and this is the
only mention listed which exceeds about one third on this measure. Just more
than a third trust the RCMP a great deal (37%), followed by the Canada Revenue
Agency (31%), CSIS (23%) and the Canadian Border Services Agency (20%). At the
bottom of the list, as the least trusted with personal information, are the
Communications Security Establishment (CSEC - 8%), the major telecommunications
companies (7%) and, especially, department stores like Target and Walmart
("trust a great deal" - 3%).
More than two thirds disapprove of
telcos handing over data
When told that Canadian telcos responded to a million
requests a year for private data, two thirds disapprove (69%), and just one
fifth (18%) approve. One seventh don't have an opinion (14%). In fact, the only
groups among whom approval exceeds one fifth are Albertans (21%) and
“Canadians are quite rightly upset at the volume of their
personal data which is routinely available to law enforcement and others with
less pure motives. It is clear they don't want their data made available and
expect it not to be. It is instructive that among the agencies trusted the
least with their data are CSEC, which is in charge of collecting it, and the
telecommunications companies, who are the ones who are legally permitted to
supply it," said
Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (416)