As more and more Canadians turn to the Internet, privacy concerns become a critical issue for business of all sizes, from small businesses to large global companies such as Google. Fortunately we have a Jennifer Stoddart, the Canadian Privacy Officer has made it her mission to protect all Canadians no matter if they are using online video games or social networks. Of course there is also a great emphasis by advertisers who are using social networks websites and other mobile apps to target and sell products and service to consumers. Companies such as Toronto-based eyeReturn are taking a leadership position to ensure there is balance between ensuring that advertisers can target their audiences and that consumer privacy is upheld.
The Advertising Standards Canada partnered with MacLaren McCann to release their “The Truth About Privacy: Canada and Beyond,” a report on emerging international trends in online engagement and Canadian consumer attitudes towards privacy. The report was produced by McCann Truth Central, McCann’s global thought leadership unit. It explores Canadians’ perceptions of privacy, personal security and the benefits of sharing information with organizations.
“The very notion of personal privacy has changed in our digital world.” remarked ASC President and CEO Linda Nagel, “What was once considered private information is freely shared. Whether on social networks with friends or information sharing with a company for a benefit, Canadians are generally open to this kind of engagement.”
The report revealed a complex environment for both the private and public sectors, examining the role of brands, marketing and privacy protection in what McCann Truth Central calls the “new normal”. The erosion of privacy is one of the most important issues to Canadians, second only to a further global financial crisis, but ahead of climate change and increased levels of terrorism.
The report, commissioned by Advertising Standards Canada and conducted in French and English, drew on the responses of 1000 Canadians and six focus groups, and compared results with a similar international study last year also conducted by McCann Truth Central. Click here to download the full report.