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Canadians Refuse to Divulge Personal Data for Free Online Services: Survey

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Canadians Refuse to Divulge Personal Data for Free Online Services: Survey

A new survey report from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) revealed that most Canadians refuse to provide their personal information to access free online services.

The report “2020 Canadians Deserve a Better Internet Report” disclosed that except online banking services (52%), most Canadians stated that they are unwilling to share their sensitive data for better products and services online. Only 26% of respondents admitted that they are willing to give personal information in return for better video streaming services. Around 23% of Canadians stated that they disclose personal details to use social media services and 15% are willing to share personal data for access to internet-connected devices like baby monitors.

“The survey result shows Canadians growing anxiety about cybersecurity-related issues, including a significant drop in their willingness to disclose personal information for better content and services online. In 2019, 72% of Canadians said they were willing to disclose some or a little personal information in exchange for valuable content or service. One year later, with the exception of online banking services, the vast majority of Canadians say they are unwilling to share their personal data in exchange for better online services,” the report said.

Other Key Findings from the Report Include:

  • 83% believe it is important that government data, including the personal information of Canadians, be stored, and transmitted in Canada only.
  • Seven in 10 are concerned about potential cybersecurity risks from foreign-owned network technologies.
  • 74% have privacy or security concerns related to connected-home devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.
  • 82% support a change in the Officer of the Privacy Commissioner’s legal authority that would give it powers to make orders and issue fines for companies who fail to comply with Canadian privacy law.
  • Over half of Canadians (54%) indicate that they definitely or probably came across fake news stories about Canadian politics or politicians in the lead up to, or during, the 2019 federal election.
  • 16% indicate that they have used a fax machine to send documents to a government department or agency in the past year because it would not accept scanned documents by email.

“Many Canadians worry that the dangers online outweigh the benefits – especially when it comes to privacy. COVID-19 has shown us that going off the grid is no longer an option; digital forces are knocking on the front doors of our homes through new smart, internet-enabled technologies, and digital surveillance tools. The entire sector can work together and strike the right balance that provides the assurances Canadians need to ensure the internet remains a trusted part of their everyday lives,” said Byron Holland, President and CEO, CIRA.

Canada’s COVID-19 Cyber Defense Force

SecDev Group in Canada initiated a volunteer-based program wherein it called upon Canada’s top cybersecurity and IT professionals to join the COVID-19 Cyber Defense Force in order to protect the country’s key services and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. The Group’s vision and mission include: No ransomware attack should close hospital operations; no cyberattacks should affect any patients’ treatment; and no form of essential services should be affected by any cyberattack

SecDev Group also collaborated with Zeropoint to provide VPN strategies and access control to governments and companies and help them adapt to cybersecurity monitoring to accommodate a workforce that is majorly working on distributed remote desktops from home.