Study shows Canadians want user-friendly information about privacy policies

cyber security

A study commissioned by the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) has revealed a lot about how Canadians feel about privacy policies.

The data, collected from over 2,000 adults aged 18 and over and released in advance of International Data Privacy Day on January 28th, intended to identify why Canadians don’t read privacy policies. According to the study, most Canadians find privacy policies too long and difficult to understand, and as a result do not read or only read part of these policies.

Additionally, many feel that they don’t know enough about Canadian data privacy laws, individual rights and the obligations of companies. Large numbers show interest in reading user-friendly information to support privacy policies, such as summaries of terms or simplified explanations.

Notably, two thirds prefer that companies provide privacy related information on their website, rather than through an app or emails from the company.

Among the issues of least concern according to the data are how companies utilize third-party service parties, and, surprisingly, how companies monetize personal data.

“The issues of transparency and accountability are in the forefront for many Canadians – our customers,” said Amanda Maltby, CMA Privacy and Data Advisory Committee’s chair and general manager.

“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.”

Suzanne Morin, the committee’s project lead, stated that “the results provide valuable input for our committee to develop best practice guidance for marketers to better communicate about data use and privacy. A layered approach that gives consumers key information with the option to go deeper, for example, a short and mobile friendly ‘label’ that can be taken in with a glance. The goal is to provide privacy information that demystifies data use and draws attention to what Canadians value most — it’s time for Transparency 2.0.”

Source: Canadian Marketing Association

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