Canadians lukewarm on sharing data

A new report suggests Canadians are among the most reluctant to share personal info, even if it comes with benefits.

A new report from market research firm GfK suggests that while there are more consumers than not on a global scale who’d be willing to exchange personal information for some kind of benefit, Canadians are quite more reluctant to do so.

The survey polled over 22,000 consumers in 17 different countries, including roughly 1,000 from Canada. The report shows the results of a single statement posed to respondents, who ranked their agreement on a seven-point scale: “I am willing to share my personal data in exchange for benefits or rewards like lower costs or personalized service.”

Only 14% of Canadians firmly agreed that they’d be willing to share personal data in exchange for some personal benefit or reward, with 31% saying they wouldn’t.

While that leaves roughly 55% of Canadians feeling relatively neutral to the idea, those numbers put Canadians among the most skeptical globally. The global results showed 27% of people agreeing with the statement, and 19% disagreeing. Canada was behind only Germany (12%), France (12%) and Japan (8%) for the lowest percentage of citizens who agreed with the statement. In terms of those who disagreed, Canada was behind only Germany (40%), France (37%) and Brazil (34%). South of the border, American respondents were nearly split on the question, with 25% agreeing and 23% disagreeing.

The Canadian results were roughly the same for both men and women, which is a trend globally as well. But breaking the numbers down by age shows that younger consumers are more willing than older ones to be open to sharing their data, albeit slightly so.

While Canadians between the ages of 15 and 39 all had roughly the same percentage of people saying they would not be open to sharing their data (between 21% and 22%), 16% of 15- to 19-year olds said they would be, compared to 24% of 20- to 29-year olds (the only age group where more people agreed than disagreed with the statement) and 14% of 30- to 39-year-olds.

The age groups only get more skeptical of data sharing from there, with 27% of those between 40 and 49 years of age not willing to give up their data (compared to 15% who are), 41% of 50- to 59-year-olds not willing to give up their data (compared to 12%) and 44% of those 60 and older not willing to give up their data (compared to 8%).

Globally, China had both the highest percentage of people willing to give up their data (38%) and lowest percentage of people who weren’t (8%). Mexico had the second-highest percentage of those who would give up their data (30%), but also a relatively high percentage of people who wouldn’t (23%).

Image courtesy Shutterstock