Security Concerns Over Personal Data


Survey shows Canadians remain worried about privacy and the security of their personal data

39% of Canadians remain worried about the security of their personal data online. A recent survey done for the Digital Identity and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) points precisely at these concerns.

The issue is one of the biggest in today’s society. with governments and companies urged to be more accountable and responsible regarding cybersecurity and mishandling of private information stored on websites, online platforms, and applications.

The DIACC survey results tell a straightforward if somewhat complex perception with regard to cybersecurity and data privacy. 39% of respondents feel extremely concerned about their personal information. Who should we trust with the safety of our personal data?

The survey also highlights how trust in e-commerce companies remains high. However, the same cannot be said for internet providers and travel sites. Only 31% of respondents say they strongly agree that they trust social media to keep their personal information safe.

To compare, people have much higher levels of trust when it comes to governments (83%) or financial institutions (81%).

The Need for a New Digital Framework for Canada

The survey comes at a very much heated juncture of Canadian politics. The Trudeau administration and the DIACC are pursuing higher cooperation and regulation of companies when it comes to security standards. The DIACC has released the finding of this survey. At the same time, they are pushing forward towards a digital identity framework for the public and the private sector. Consequently, it seeks to guarantee the securitization of Canadian citizens while they share personal information online.

However, this framework also aims at providing a comprehensive entry point for digital storage of citizenship and ID. An example would be young people being able to prove their age without showing a driver’s license or a document. Through the use of an official app, agents would confirm the owner of the device is above the legal age. Another app could confirm the legal age when buying cannabis online, or getting a loan by banking institutions.

This is the idea. As it stands, DIACC is still at the preliminary stages of development. In fact, the proposed first version of the framework was released in June of this year. As for the final proposal, it can be expected next year. Many companies are starting to look favorably at integration, thanks to such a framework.

Combined Security Efforts by Public and Private Sector

Significantly, the results of the survey point at a desire from citizens. They wish that national and federal policy on cybersecurity should be discussed between the public and private sector of Canada.

Joni Brennan, president of DIACC, was glad by this response, saying that it “largely confirms what we had suspected”. Furthermore, she added: “We were expecting that Canadians were concerned about personal data, trying to manage user IDs and passwords, likely unsure of what digital identity means, and at the same time are looking for solutions to make their lives easier and to protect their data”.

At last, Brennan stated that the survey confirmed DIACC’s belief that the public and the private sector must work on a solution together.