A new report from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) suggests Canadians are less willing to share personal data online than they used to be.
The report published Thursday says the majority of Canadians refuse to surrender any personal information in exchange for access to online services.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents said they’d do so for better video streaming services; 23 per cent would for social media websites, and 15 per cent for internet-connected devices such as baby monitors, according to the agency responsible for registering .ca domains.
The only exception was for online banking services, where 52 per cent of respondents said they’d be willing to give up personal data.
This is a considerable drop from a 2019 CIRA report that suggested 72 per cent of Canadians were willing to disclose some private information in exchange for more valuable or convenient services on the internet.
“It’s clear from our report that Canadians are feeling the need to restore trust online,” CIRA president and CEO Byron Holland said in a statement. “Right now, many Canadians worry that the dangers online outweigh the benefits – especially when it comes to privacy.”
The report highlights concerns Canadians have regarding cybersecurity in the digital age. Seventy per cent of respondents said they were worried about potential risks from technology companies like Huawei, which is owned by the Chinese government. Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) said they had concerns about smart home devices such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.
But the concerns around privacy online are not new. The 2019 CIRA report stated 87 per cent of respondents were worried about a potential cyberattack that could expose personal information. That same percentage had concerns that business with access to private data would share that with third-party groups without consent.
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