Canadian Consumers Conflicted About Safety of Electronic Personal Information, but Trust Companies


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Consumers from the Great White North worry that Canadian businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks yet trust that companies are doing their best to protect the personal information of customers, according to a new fraud survey by the 2017 Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

The numbers are nearly identical, with 72 percent of survey respondents concerned that businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and 73 percent saying the trust that businesses “are doing the best they can.”

The percentage of Canadians who fear identity theft (66 percent) has fallen significantly since last year (74 percent). But the percentage of Canadians who fear that someone who shouldn’t have their personal information, does indeed have it (39 percent), has grown since last year’s survey (35 percent).

Perceptions about the safety of personal information and trust in business could drastically change by the time the next survey is conducted. Canada’s tightened up data breach notification laws take effect later this year. 

Some privacy professionals warn that there could be a huge uptick in breach reporting as guidance from the Canadian Securities Administrators requires companies to report more information about cyberattacks, and expected Digital Privacy Act regulations will require more breaches to be reported.

As companies more frequently report their breaches, consumers could begin to feel differently about what “the best they can” means.

The survey also found that 75 percent of respondents have learned from the news media how to protect their personal information. How the news media report what will likely be more on-the-record data breaches will surely influence how consumers view the efforts of companies to protect data.

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