This is all confidential… by Jean-Marc Léger

What do Equifax, Uber, Ashley Madison, Desjardins and Cambridge Analytica have in common? All of them are companies that have been shaken by data breaches in recent years.

If managing social media was the past decade’s challenge, data confidentiality will be the challenge for the next decade. Some know this, and others will learn the hard way.

68% of Canadians are afraid of having their identity stolen

According to our recent Canada-wide survey conducted exclusively for this newsletter, 68% of Canadians say they are afraid of having their identity or personal information stolen. Worse, 84% of them believe that some companies are using this data without their consent.

68% of Canadians are afraid of having their identity or personal information stolen

This consumer reaction is understandable, as 20% of consumers say they have already been victims of identity fraud. This rate reaches 26% among professionals.

20% have already been a victim of identity theft

Despite this, many consumers are willing to share their personal data with commercial companies. Surprisingly, 14% of young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 do not have concerns with sharing their social insurance number, while 18% of them are not afraid of providing their bank account number to a commercial company.

Canadians' concerns with giving certain types of personal information to companies

This confidence will certainly erode as data breaches are confirmed in the media.

In this survey, we also found that Canadians are increasingly wary of their digital devices. Forty-seven percent (47%) are convinced that they can be seen through the camera on their mobile phone or computer without their knowledge. Moreover, 38% think that they are being spied on via their mobile phone and 23% believe that their conversations are being monitored. The public is increasingly paranoid.

To earn consumer trust, there are real solutions for companies to convince their customers to give them their personal information.

When Canadians will share their personal information with a commercial company

Young people are more confident and are significantly more likely to share their personal data in return for a tangible advantage. They need to be taught to be wary, while confidence must be built among already wary older people.

A combination of several commercial strategies is essential to convince consumers to share information. A solid reputation and a clear advantage are necessary for your campaign’s success. A free product, a discount, or privileged information in exchange for the requested information will undoubtedly boost the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.

The digital era has brought us back to the barter economy. You need to give more to receive more.

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Jean-Marc Léger, Founding President (CEO of Leger)

An economist by trade, Jean-Marc Léger, together with his father Marcel Léger, co-founded Leger, a polling and marketing research firm, in 1986. Under his tenure, Leger has undergone strong growth to become the largest Canadian-owned polling and marketing research firm.

 *This Web survey was conducted from January 10 to January 14, 2020 with 1,526 Canadians 18 years of age or older, randomly recruited from LEO’s online panel. The results were weighted to ensure a representative sample of the population. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of 1,526 respondents would have a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

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