Canadians concerned about access to their online personal information

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A new Interact survey reveals that the majority of Canadians are concerned about protecting their privacy online and limiting control over their personal information online.

Specifically, the survey found that 76% of Canadians are concerned about their online privacy, while 74% prefer to have more control over their online information.

Companies that give their customers more control over their personal information are seen as a key opportunity to build trust, as 53% of customers believe that companies are responsible for protecting their personal information and 69% believe that companies should protect their privacy online.

When it comes to social networks, 58% of Canadians use their social network account to log in to other online services, yet only 11% trust these accounts.

« When customers log in to an online service, they trust that provider to keep their data safe, » said Colette Stewart, senior legal counsel and chief privacy officer at Interac, in a press release. 

« As Canadians hold organizations accountable for the use and storage of data, entities of all sizes have an obligation to provide clear guidelines on how personal information will be used and to allow users greater control over the management of their online privacy. »

The survey also found that 69% of Canadians are concerned about how their personal information is being used without their consent.

Most believe their personal information is being used for « nefarious » reasons, such as tracking their location (58%), manipulating their beliefs (32%) and stealing their identity (31%), and only 6% said their personal information is being used for its intended purpose.

The survey indicates that risky behaviors, such as using the same email and password on multiple websites and not changing their password often, as half of Canadians do, put their personal information at risk.

Interac’s survey also suggests that there may be a need for greater awareness of data protection. Only 33 percent of respondents said they would know what to do if their personal information was hacked online, while 69 per cent said they would like to learn how to protect their personal information online.

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