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Study: Consumer views on privacy policies

The Toronto-based Canadian Marketing Association has released the results of a new study into consumer views on privacy issues. Commissioned by the organization's privacy and data advisory committee, the study was intended to identify reasons why Canadians do not read privacy policies. The survey was conducted by Environics Research.

Sixty percent of respondents said they typically read parts of privacy policies, while 25% say they don't read these policies, primarily due to their length and complexity. Thirty-nine percent of respondents reported feeling uninformed about data privacy laws, while 20% said they do feel informed. In addition, 41% said they receive too little information from companies related to data privacy, while 29% said they receive too much information. Fifty-seven percent said their top privacy concern is the methods used by a company to secure their personal information.

"The issues of transparency and accountability are in the forefront for many Canadians," said Amanda Maltby, chair of the committee. "In addition to providing insights into consumer data privacy attitudes and behaviours, the survey reveals customer expectations about how we need to interact with them. Consumers tell us they are indeed interested in privacy information, but that it needs to be provided to them in a user-friendly way."

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