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Study: Consumer attitudes toward personal data

The Toronto-based Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms has released the results of a study into consumer attitudes toward the sharing of personal data with companies. According to the organization, the results suggest that digital consumers remain cautious about their personal data. According to the results, 18% of Canadians who self-identified as "digital natives" said they always share personal information when brands or companies ask. The response for those who classified themselves as "digital visitors" was eight percent, while the response was five percent for those who called themselves "not digitally savvy." However, 63% of all respondents said they would be likely to share personal information with a brand or company they trust. Among so-called "digital natives," the rate was 74%. Twenty-five percent of "digital natives" said they would share information in exchange for a half-off discount, while 50% said they would do so in exchange for some kind of "VIP access" or exclusive experience.

"In give-and-take digital negotiations, trust is king," said David Gordon, chair of the council. "The majority of Canadians, and especially those who have grown up in the social world, place significant value on brand and corporate trust. In this world of seemingly free-flowing information, consumers, regardless of whether they're digital natives or not digitally savvy, know they hold the power with their personal information and that's sacred to them. Brands have an important role to play in showing consumers they're valued and in protecting brand reputation to maintain consumer trust."

The online survey was conducted by Angus Reid. Digital natives were defined as those who agreed with the phrase, "I am so comfortable in the digital world that many of my daily activities are centered around the digital space."

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