Research

ARCHIVED - Public Opinion Surveys

2011 Canadians and Privacy Survey

Final Report

Presented to:
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Harris/Decima
March 31, 2011


Proprietary Warning

The information contained herein is proprietary to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and may not be used, reproduced or disclosed to others except as specifically permitted in writing by the originator of the information. The recipient of this information, by its retention and use, agrees to protect the same and the information contained therein from loss, theft or compromise. Any material or information provided by OPC and all data collected by Harris/Decima will be treated as confidential by Harris/Decima and will be stored securely while on Harris/Decima's premise (adhering to industry standards and applicable laws).

OTTAWA
1800-160 Elgin St.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K2P 2P7
Tel: (613) 230-2200
Fax: (613) 230-3793

MONTRÉAL
400-1080 Beaver Hall Hill
Montréal, Québec, Canada
H2Z 1S8
Tel: (514) 288-0037
Fax: (514) 288-0138

TORONTO
405-2345 Yonge St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4P 2E5
Tel: (416) 962-2013
Fax: (416) 962-0505

VANCOUVER
500-666 Burrard St.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
V6C 3P6
Tel: (778) 370-1373
Fax: (604) 601-2074


Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Introduction
    1. Background and Objectives
    2. Overview of Methodology
  3. Detailed Research Findings
    1. Privacy and Institutions, Laws and Rights
    2. Privacy and New Technologies
    3. National Security and Public Safety
    4. Attitudes About Genetic Privacy
  4. Detailed Methodology
  5. Appendix: Study Materials
    1. Questionnaire - English

Top of Page Table of Contents

Established in 1983, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) acts as Canada’s privacy guardian.  Among other responsibilities, the OPC has the task of ensuring Canadians understand the importance of protecting their privacy and how to do so, as well as ensuring that organizations entrusted with personal information are in compliance with federal privacy laws.

The OPC commissioned Harris/Decima to undertake a survey of Canadians, to gauge understanding and awareness of privacy issues, legislation and federal privacy institutions, particularly in each of four priority areas: information technology and privacy; national security and privacy; identity integrity and protection; and genetic privacy.

A telephone survey was conducted with a randomly selected and representative sample of 2,000 Canadian adults, 18 years and over, between February 23 and March 6, 2011. The results are valid within a margin of error of +/- 2.2%, nineteen times out of twenty. The margins of error are larger for sub-group results (for example age, gender, region). Demographic differences noted throughout the report are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.

Similar surveys were also conducted in 2009, 2007, 2006 and 2005.

Key findings from the study are outlined below.

Privacy and Institutions, Laws and Rights
The awareness of federal privacy institutions and privacy laws remains steady:
  • Three in ten Canadians were aware of a federal institution that helps them with privacy and the protection of personal information from inappropriate collection, use and disclosure.
  • Most felt that their knowledge of personal privacy rights under the laws protecting their personal information was either poor (36%) or somewhere in neutral territory – neither good nor bad (33%).
Canadians feel they are doing a good job at protecting their privacy:
  • Almost one in five (18%) said they were doing a very good job at protecting their own privacy and more than half (56%) said they were doing a good job.
    • Higher income earners ($80K+) were the least likely to have said they were doing a very good job (13% compared to 20% among those in the $40K-$80K income category and 19% among those earning less).
  • Only one in five said they actively sought out information about their privacy rights, such as contacting an organization, visiting a web site or reviewing a publication, while four in five had never done this.
Governments and businesses are seen as getting more serious about protecting personal information, and Canadians want them to face consequences for breaking privacy law:
  • Twice as many felt the government was taking its responsibility seriously (22%), rather than not seriously (11%).
    • Only 14% felt businesses were taking their responsibility to protect consumer personal information seriously, while 13% felt this was not the case.
  • A majority of Canadians indicated they believed that if an organization is found to have contravened a privacy law, government agencies that oversee Canadian privacy laws should take action:
    • Legally requiring that a delinquent organization put the necessary privacy protections in place was the most popular requested action. Almost all respondents (97%) believed this should be done. Making non-binding recommendations to the organization about how to improve privacy protection was the least popular of the possible actions tested, yet it was still seen by 78% of Canadians as something that should be done.
    • As well, large majorities felt it would be appropriate to name the organization publicly (95%), fine the organization (91%) and/or take the organization to court (84%).
Privacy protection is seen as important but perhaps not an issue Canadians feel they have control over:
  • Almost two thirds of Canadians (65%) agreed that protecting the personal information of Canadians will be one of the most important issues facing the country in the next ten years.
  • Six in ten Canadians agreed that they felt they had less protection of their personal information in their daily lives than they did ten years ago.
  • Most Canadians did not feel confident that they had enough information to know how new technologies might affect their personal privacy: While 43% said they did have enough information about this, three in ten (31%) said they did not, while a quarter (24%) neither agreed nor disagreed with this premise. These findings are virtually unchanged from 2009.
Privacy and New Technologies
Privacy concerns related to Internet, computers, public Wi-Fi, social networking are on the rise:
  • Four in ten mentioned they had general personal privacy concerns about the Internet or computers (compared to 26% in 2009), while another 15% specifically mentioned online social networking sites – something that was barely on the radar in 2009 (2%).
    • Other changes of note when comparing with the last survey’s results: concerns about cell phone and other telecommunications technologies increased (mentioned by 11% this year, compared to 3% in 2009), as were issues related to credit/debit cards (9%, up from 5%) and banking/online banking (7%, up from 3%).
  • Three in ten mobile device users said they stored personal information on their mobile devices and the same percentage downloaded applications—often referred to as “apps”—for their devices. Less than half indicated that they had adjusted their device settings to limit the amount of personal information they share with others or used a password lock on their device.
    • The good news, however, is that those who store personal information on their device or download apps, are more likely to take either of these privacy measures.
  • Overall, more than half of Canadians (55%) expressed privacy concerns related to social networking sites, while only one in ten (10%) were not concerned and a third (33%) were somewhat concerned.
    • Among those who did use such a site or sites, concern about privacy risks was lower (45%, compared with 66% among those who did not), suggesting perhaps that those with higher concerns about online privacy, are more reluctant to join social networking sites.
  • The majority of social networking site users said these sites’ explanations about what they would or could do with users’ personal information were vague, whether somewhat (32%) or very (29%).
  • However, a majority of social network subscribers (64%) felt that the sites provided them with the options or settings they needed to protect the privacy of the personal information they posted. In fact, most (80%) said they had changed the default settings to increase their privacy protection.
  • More than three quarters (77%) felt it to be very important that websites actively inform users about what kinds of personal information they are collecting and how they use it.
  • Among those who used public Wi-Fi, the proportion that was concerned about risks to their personal information when using this service (28%) was twice as large as the proportion that was not concerned (14%).
  • Most Canadians (82%) did not feel that police and intelligence agencies should be able to request information from telecommunications companies about Canadians and their internet usage without a warrant issued by the courts.
Online privacy policies are rarely consulted and not always clear:
  • Only one in five said they either always (7%) or often (14%) read the privacy policies for Internet sites they visit. Another 28% said they sometimes read privacy policies, while half either rarely (25%) or never (25%) did so.
  • While more than half found the privacy policies to be either somewhat vague (35%) or very vague (18%), 5% found them very clear and 37% found them to be somewhat clear.
National Security and Public Safety
  • Half of Canadians felt they understood how the information they provided at borders and airports was used, either very well (18%) or fairly well (30%). The rest indicated they either did not understand this very well (31%) or did not understand this at all (17%).
  • Three in ten Canadians said they were concerned about the personal information they provide at borders or airports being used by other Canadian government agencies, while concern about this information being shared between the Canadian government and foreign authorities was higher.
  • More than four in ten (44%) of Canadians were concerned about Canada sharing more information with the U.S. in the future.
Attitudes about Genetic Privacy
  • The majority of Canadians did not express interest in companies that offer people genetic testing to get information about whether they have an increased risk of developing certain conditions or diseases: 55% indicated that they were “not at all interested” and 18% responded “not very interested”.
    • However, a small percentage of respondents (8%) said they were very interested in this type of service and 18% said they were somewhat interested.
  • Some concerns about genetic testing were raised, especially when it came to personal information potentially being used in an unauthorized way and the fact these companies may not be subject to health privacy regulations.

Top of Page Table of Contents Introduction

Harris/Decima is pleased to present this report to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC), highlighting the findings from quantitative research on Canadian public opinion on topics related to privacy.

Background and Objectives

Established in 1983, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada acts as Canada’s privacy guardian.  Among other responsibilities, the OPC has the task of ensuring Canadians understand the importance of protecting their privacy and how to do so, as well as ensuring that organizations entrusted with personal information are in compliance with federal privacy laws.

While protection of privacy is an issue that dates back well beyond the 28 years of the OPC’s existence – income tax forms, financial transactions, subscriptions, medical records, and even survey research are examples that date back generations – the Internet has exponentially increased the amount of personal information exchanged and the number of places (domestic and foreign) where information is being stored.  As a result, the concerns about the protection of that information have evolved tremendously.  Today, the OPC not only needs to pay a great deal of attention to how behaviours and attitudes are evolving, it needs to be constantly vigilant and keep up with the incredible pace of evolution in technology affecting privacy.

Every two years (previous to 2007, this was done annually), the OPC undertakes a survey with Canadians as part of its ongoing work to understand privacy issues and Canadians’ attitudes and concerns about privacy. This study investigated how responses to key indicator questions have evolved compared to previous years (2009, 2007, 2006, 2005), and probed new areas of interest.  Since privacy protection is constantly evolving, this study provides insight relating to emerging issues.

Specifically, this national survey on privacy was undertaken to better gauge Canadians’ understanding and awareness of certain privacy issues, legislation and federal privacy institutions, particularly in each of four priority areas: information technology and privacy; national security and privacy; identity integrity and protection; and genetic privacy. 

Overview of Methodology

A telephone survey was conducted with a randomly selected and representative sample of 2,000 Canadian adults, 18 years and over, between February 23 and March 6, 2011. The results are valid within a margin of error of +/- 2.2%, nineteen times out of twenty. The margins of error are larger for sub-group results (for example age, gender, region). Demographic differences noted throughout the report are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.

Data were weighted to reflect the population in terms of age, gender and regional distribution.

The base sizes indicated in the graphs throughout this report are unweighted numbers. Some graphs within this report do not add up to 100% due to rounding. For more details of the methodology, including a call-disposition report, see the Detailed Methodology section of this report.

Top of Page Table of Contents Detailed Research Findings

Privacy and Institutions, Laws and Rights
Awareness of federal privacy institutions, including OPC, unchanged

As was seen in the 2009 study, two-thirds (67%) of Canadians were not aware of any federal institutions that help them with privacy and the protection of personal information from inappropriate collection, use and disclosure. One in ten (11%) said they definitely knew of such an institution, while another one in five (20%) were vaguely aware of one. While this combined awareness level of 31% is not statistically different from the 2009 poll result of 33% (15% clearly and 18% vaguely aware), there was a drop from 15% to 11% in the number of respondents who said they had clearly heard of such an institution.

As can be seen from the graph below, after having been stable around 20% between 2005 and 2007, awareness spiked at 33% in 2009.

Awareness of federal privacy institutions

Demographic differences to note:

  • Younger Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 were the least likely to clearly recall a federal privacy institution (6% compared to 14% among those 35-54 and 12% among those 55+).
  • Quebecers had the lowest level of awareness, with 81% indicating they were not aware, compared to 61% - 68% in the other regions.
  • Canadians with higher income and education levels had the highest awareness levels.

Those who indicated they were aware of a federal privacy institution were then asked which one(s) they had heard of. Of those, 19% (or 6% of Canadians overall) mentioned the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. This result has remained virtually the same since 2007.

Unaided Awareness of OPC

While the OPC was the most often mentioned federal privacy institution, fully 44% of those who said they were aware of an institution, could not provide a name for that institution. Other institutions mentioned were “an agency” (unspecified – 8%), Access to Information and Privacy Act (7%), the CRTC (5%), CRA (5%), law enforcement (5%), banks (4%), agencies related to health (4%), the government Ombudsman (3%) and consumer protection agencies (3%). Justice agencies, Statistics Canada, the Human Rights Commissioner and the National Do Not Call List were each mentioned by 2% of respondents.

Unaided Awareness of Federal Institutions 2011

Demographic differences to note on awareness of the OPC:

  • Residents of the Atlantic provinces (33%) were the most likely to have mentioned the OPC and Quebecers the least likely (13%).
  • Among university graduates and those with an annual income of $80,000 and over, recall of the OPC was at 27%, higher than among the rest;
    • Education: HS graduates - 9%, college graduates - 12% and those who completed some university - 18%.
    • Income: $40-$80K - 8%, <$40K - 17%.
  • Men (22%) were more likely to mention the OPC than women (15%).
Most Canadians do not know much about privacy laws, but feel they are protecting their personal information

When asked to rate their knowledge of personal privacy rights under the laws protecting their personal information, most answered it was either poor (36%) or somewhere in neutral territory – neither good nor bad (33%). The remaining three in ten said it was either very good (4%) or good (26%), which is comparable to the results found in 2009.

Level of Knowledge of Privacy Rights

Demographic differences to note:

  • Only 1% of those between 18 and 34 said their knowledge of privacy laws was very good; this compared to 5% and 4% among those 35-54 and 55+.
  • Reported knowledge was lowest in Quebec (20%) and BC (24%), compared to 36% in Atlantic Canada and 34% in Ontario and the Prairie provinces.
  • Among the lower income category ($40K or less), fully 44% said their knowledge was poor, compared to 35% and 33% among those in the $40-$80K and $80K+ income brackets.

At the same time, many Canadians felt that they were doing well at protecting their own personal information. While only 6% said they were not doing well at this, 18% said they were doing a very good job and more than half (56%) said they were doing a good job. This is consistent with results from 2009, and higher than seen in 2006 and 2007.

Rating Own Protection of Personal Information

Demographic differences to note:

  • Younger Canadians were the least likely to have indicated they were doing a very good job (9% compared to 19% for those between 35 and 54 and 23% among those 55+).
  • Atlantic Canadians were the most likely to have said they were doing a (very) good job (82%), while Quebecers were the least likely (69%).
  • The higher income earners ($80K+) were the least likely to have said they were doing a very good job (13% compared to 20% among those in the $40K-$80K income category and 19% among those earning less).

Perhaps tied into the fact that many felt they were doing a good job protecting their own privacy, most Canadians did not appear to have felt the need to actively seek out information about their privacy rights.

Only one in five said they did take action on this matter, such as contacting an organization, visiting a web site or reviewing a publication, while four in five had never done this. These results are unchanged from those found in the previous survey.

Actions to Preserve Privacy

One demographic difference to note:

  • Those with an annual household income under $40K were least likely to have sought out information (16% had done so, compared to 22% among those in the $40-$80K income category and 21% among those earning more than $80K).
Governments and businesses seen as getting more serious about protecting personal information

Year over year, Canadians appear to have become slightly more confident that the federal government is taking its responsibility to protect citizen personal information seriously.

While in 2006, a larger proportion said the government of Canada was not taking its responsibility seriously, compared to the proportion who said the government was taking its responsibility seriously (20% vs 14%, with 62% in the middle saying “somewhat seriously”), that trend has been reversing over time. The latest results show that twice as many Canadians feel the government is taking its responsibility seriously (22%), rather than not seriously (11%). The middle group saying “somewhat seriously” is equal to what it was in 2006 (62%) but down compared to the previous study in 2009, when it was 69%.

How Serious Government takes Reponsibility to Protect Personal Information

Demographic differences to note:

  • Men were more likely to believe the government of Canada does not take this issue seriously (13%, compared to 10% among women).
  • Older Canadians 55 and over were also more likely to feel this was the case (15% compared to 10% among those 35-54 and 9% among those younger). At the same time, Canadians between 35 and 54 were the most likely to believe the opposite to be true, with a quarter (26%) among them indicating the government is taking this seriously (compared to 22% among those in the youngest cohort and 17% in the oldest cohort).

While still only a relatively small percentage of Canadians said that businesses are taking their responsibility to protect consumer personal information seriously, the proportion that feels they are not taking this seriously has shrunk since 2006 and opinion has shifted towards believing they are taking it somewhat seriously. In fact, for the first time since tracking began, the number of those who thought that businesses are taking it seriously was equal to the number of those who thought this not to be the case. Historically, the more negative opinion was more widely held over the more optimistic one.

Only 14% (statistically unchanged from 12% in 2009) felt businesses are taking their responsibility to protect consumer personal information seriously, while 13% felt this was not the case. The remaining 68% believed businesses were taking this task somewhat seriously.

How Serious Business takes Reponsibility to Protect Consumer Personal Information

Demographic differences to note:

  • Once again, men were more likely to believe that businesses did not take this issue seriously (15%, compared to 11% among women).
  • Younger Canadians (34 and younger) were less likely to say they were not taking it seriously (7%, compared to 16% among those 35-54 and 15% among those older).
  • This younger group was not more likely to believe the opposite was true, but rather more likely to indicate businesses were taking their privacy protection duties "somewhat" seriously instead.

When it came to specific concerns Canadians had about businesses holding their personal information, they were most concerned about their information being sold to third parties (67% saying they were concerned about this). General security of personal information (57%), receiving unwanted communications (57%) and requesting too much personal information (55%) were also of concern to a majority, while slightly fewer were concerned about businesses holding information for longer than required (44%) or holding inaccurate or outdated information (42%). For each of these issues, only about one in ten said they were not concerned about it.

Concerns with Business Holding Personal Information

Demographic differences to note:

About "Sharing with or selling your personal information to other organizations"

  • Residents of BC (71%) and Ontario (69%) were most concerned about this, while Quebecers were the least concerned (60%).
  • Those with incomes of $80K and over were more likely to be concerned (69%), compared to 61% among those earning $40K or less and 65% among the middle income group.

About "Requesting too much personal information"

  • Residents of Atlantic Canada (63%), BC (60%) and Ontario (57%) were most concerned about this, while those in the Prairie provinces were the least concerned (48%).
  • Those with a college education (60%) were more likely to have concerns about this, compared to between 52% and 54% among the rest.

About "Holding inaccurate or out of date information about you"

  • Residents of Atlantic Canada (51%) and Quebec (45%) were most concerned about this, while those in the Prairie provinces were the least concerned (37%).
  • Older Canadians 55+ (46%) were more concerned than the youngest cohort under 35 years of age (36%), while among those 35-54, 43% were concerned.
  • Those with a college education (49%) were again more likely to have concerns about this, compared to between 41% and 43% among the rest.

About "sending you unwanted emails, faxes, letters or telephone calls"

  • Residents of BC (63%) were most concerned about this, while those in Quebec were the least concerned (52%).
  • Those with incomes of $80K and over were more likely to be concerned (59%), compared to 52% among those earning $40K or less and 55% among the middle income group.

About "holding information for longer than required"

  • Canadians between 35 and 54 were most concerned about this (47%) along with those older than 54 (45%), while those younger than 35 were least concerned (38%).
  • Those with a college education (49%) were again more likely to have concerns about this, this time along with university educated Canadians (also 49%), compared to between 41% and 43% among the rest of respondents.

The vast majority of Canadians indicated they believed that if an organization were to break a privacy law, the government agencies that oversee Canada’s privacy laws, should take action.

Legally requiring that a delinquent organization put the necessary privacy protections in place was the most popular requested action with almost all (97%) believing it should be done. On the other end of the spectrum, making non-binding recommendations to the organization about how to improve privacy protection was the least popular of the possible actions tested, yet it was still seen by 78% of Canadians as something that should be done.

As well, large majorities felt it would be appropriate to name the organization publicly (95%), fine the organization (91%) and/or take the organization to court (84%).

Organizations Breaking Canada's Privacy Laws: Actions

Demographic differences to note:

  • Taking the organization to court was most often endorsed by men (88%, compared to 81% among women), in Quebec and Atlantic Canada (88%) and among those 18-34 (87%, compared to 83% among older Canadians).
  • Making non-binding recommendations was more popular among women (81%) than men (75%), Quebecers (86%) and those between 18 and 34 (85%, compared to 75% among older Canadians).
  • In Atlantic Canada, all respondents felt the government should legally require the organization to put privacy protections in place.
  • Fining organizations was more likely to be endorsed by men (92%) than women (89%).

Some underlying attitudes about privacy painted an interesting picture of how Canadians felt about privacy issues, suggesting that privacy protection is an important issue but at the same time one they may not have control over.

Almost two thirds of Canadians (65%) agreed that protecting the personal information of Canadians will be one of the most important issues facing the country in the next ten years. This is up 3% from 2009. One in five (19%) neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement, while 15% disagreed (down from 19%).

Protection of Personal Information Most Important Issue in Next 10 Years

Demographic differences are circled in the following graph:

Protecting the personal information of Canadians will be one of the most important issues facing our country in the next 10 years

Six in ten Canadians agreed that they felt they had less protection of their personal information in their daily lives than they did ten years ago. Interestingly, this percentage is virtually unchanged from 2009 (60%), after having been 10 points higher between 2005 and 2007. However, while in 2009, almost a quarter (23%) disagreed with this statement, that percentage dropped nine points to 14% for this survey. Conversely, in 2009, 16% neither agreed nor disagreed; that percentage was up eight points to 24% in 2011.

Protection of Personal Information Compared to Ten Years Ago

Demographic differences are circled in the following graph:

I fell i have less protection of my personal information in my daily life than i did ten years ago

Most Canadians did not feel confident that they have enough information to know how new technologies might affect their personal privacy. While 43% said they did have enough information about this, three in ten (31%) said they did not feel they did, while a quarter (24%) neither agreed nor disagreed with this premise. These findings are virtually unchanged from 2009.

Knowledge about New Technologies Affecting Personal Privacy

Demographic differences are circled in the following graph:

I feel confident that i have enough information to know how new technologies might affect my personal privacy

Privacy and New Technologies

When asked unprompted whether any particular technologies made them worry about their personal privacy, many more Canadians than in 2009 offered at least one example.

Four in ten mentioned general concerns about the Internet or computers (compared to 26% in 2009), while another 15% specifically mentioned online social networking sites – something that was barely on the radar in 2009 (2%). Other changes of note when comparing with the last survey’s results: concerns about cell phone and other telecommunications technologies are up (mentioned by 11% this year, compared to 3% in 2009), as were issues related to credit/debit cards (9%, up from 5%) and banking/online banking (7%, up from 3%).

New Technologies

One demographic difference to note:

  • Younger Canadians (18-34%) were less likely to have any concerns with technologies: a third of this group (33%) did not mention any concerns, compared to a quarter (25%) among 35-54 year-olds and one in five (20%) of those 55 and over.
Mobile devices used by many – with or without privacy protection measures

Some cell phone behaviours were discussed with survey participants to learn more about how users were dealing with the privacy issues presented by this technology. When looking at demographic differences, age is the most pertinent variable for all these behaviours. This will be discussed separately at the end of this section, while other demographic differences to note are inserted throughout the section.

Mobile devices are widely used – three quarters of Canadians (74%) have at least one, whether a cell phone, smart phone, tablet, etc.

Demographic differences to note:

  • Mobile device use is correlated with income: while fully 88% of those with household incomes of $80K and over used one, this was 55% among those earning $40K or less and 74% among those in the $40-$80 income range.
  • Albertans were most likely to use a mobile device (85%), while Quebecers were least likely (63%).

Three in ten said they stored personal information on their mobile devices and the same percentage downloaded applications—often referred to as “apps”—for their devices. Less than half indicated they adjusted their device settings to limit the amount of personal information they share with others or use a password lock on their device.

The good news is, however, that those who store personal information on their device or download apps, are more likely to take either of these privacy measures.

Overall, a minority (40%) said they adjusted their device settings to limit the amount of personal information they share with others. Again, there is some good news: Among those who stored personal information on their device, 52% said they adjusted their settings, compared to only 35% who said they adjusted their settings among those who did not store personal information. Also, among those who downloaded apps, the majority (66%), indicated they adjusted their sharing settings. This compared to 31% among those who did not download apps.

Again, a minority (39%) said they used a password lock on their device. Among those who stored personal information, however, this percentage is higher (52% compared to 33% among the rest). It is also higher among those who downloaded apps (68% compared to only 27% among the rest).

Mobile Devices

Demographic differences to note:

About storing personal information on their mobile device

  • It was most prevalent in BC (37%) and Ontario (36%), least prevalent in Atlantic Canada (17%) and Quebec (18%).
  • Canadians in the higher income category (37%) and with a university degree (34%) were most likely to do this.
  • Men (35%) were more likely than women (24%) to do this.

About using a password lock on their mobile device

  • Canadians in the higher income category (47%) and with a university degree (42%) were most likely to do this.
  • Men (42%) were more likely than women (35%) to do this.

About downloading apps for mobile devices

  • It was most prevalent in the Prairies (33%), Ontario (32%) and BC (29%), least prevalent in Atlantic Canada (18%) and Quebec (17%).
  • Canadians in the higher income category (38%) and with a university degree (31%) were most likely to do this.
  • Men (35%) were more likely than women (21%) to do this.

About adjusting settings of their mobile devices to limit sharing of personal information

  • It was most prevalent in the Prairies (42%) and Ontario (44%), least prevalent in Atlantic Canada (26%) and Quebec (36%).
  • Canadians in the higher income category (46%) and with some university education (43%) or a university degree (41%) were most likely to do this.

Among mobile device users, four in ten (39%) have GPS capabilities. The majority did not (58%) have their GPS enabled.

GPS Capabilities

Demographic differences to note:

  • Those in the Prairies (48%), BC (42%) and Ontario (41%) were more likely to have GPS capabilities, while Quebecers (27%) and Atlantic Canadians (30%) were least likely.
  • Canadians in the higher income category (55%) were far more likely than the rest (30%) to have GPS on their mobiles.
  • As far as having those GPS functions enabled, no significant demographic differences were found.
  • Again, men (47%) were more likely than women (32%) to have GPS capabilities on their mobiles.

Canadians were divided over concern about the risks to their personal information an enabled GPS on a mobile device might pose. Among those with GPS-enabled mobile devices, one in five (20%) indicated they were concerned about the risks to their personal information when they are using their mobile device with GPS, while on the other hand, another one in five (21%) said they were not concerned about these risks. The majority (58%) was somewhat concerned.

Concerns Over GPS Privacy Risks

Fair level of concern with public Wi-Fi network use

One in three Canadians (33%) indicated they used a public Wi-Fi network in the past year. Among those who used public Wi-Fi, the proportion that was concerned about risks to their personal information from doing this (28%), was twice as large as the proportion that was not concerned (14%). The majority, however, (57%) was somewhere in the middle with only some concern.

Wi-Fi

Demographic differences to note:

  • Again, men (38%) were more likely than women (29%) to have used a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Quebecers (22%) were by far the least likely to have used a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Canadians in the higher income category (47%) and with some university education (38%) or a university degree (40%) were most likely to have used a public Wi-Fi network.
Fair level of concern with online personal information falling into the wrong hands

There is a fair level of concern about the privacy of personal information online, on a number of fronts.

Seven in ten respondents said they were concerned with businesses or people they didn’t know getting personal information about them or their family. The same percentage of respondents was concerned about people in turn using this information to commit crimes that could harm them or others. Slightly fewer respondents expressed concerns with companies or organizations using information to send spam (63%) or with marketing companies using the data to analyse their likes or dislikes (54%). Slightly less than half (48%) of respondents were concerned about governments using their online personal information for their own purposes.

For all the measures, however, only a handful (between 6% and 11%) said they were not concerned about risks to personal information online, while many were moderately concerned. Only 38 respondents (or 2%) were not concerned with any of these issues, and they were equally likely to be men and women, and among any age groups.

Concers about Personal Information Online

As seen from the graph below, younger Canadians were less likely to be concerned with any of these potential issues than older Canadians.

Concers about Personal Information Online (Age)

Social networking sites raise some privacy concerns

Half of Canadians (51%) said they used social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn.

Demographic differences to note:

  • In a reversal from what was seen earlier about other new technologies, women (55%) were more likely than men (47%) to say they used a social networking site.
  • Quebecers were by far the least likely to have used social networking sites (44%, compared to between 53% and 57% in the other provinces).
  • Canadians in the higher income category (57%) were the most likely subscribers.
  • Those with a high school education or less were the least likely (32%) to use social networking sites.

All survey respondents, whether they used social networking sites or not, were asked to rate their level of concern about the potential risks of posting personal information on these social networking sites. Overall, more than half (55%) said they felt concerned, while only one in ten (10%) were not concerned and a third (33%) were somewhat concerned. Among those who did use such a site or sites, concern about risks was lower (45%, compared to 66% among those who did not), suggesting perhaps that those who are more concerned about online privacy, are more reluctant to join social networking sites.

Social Networking

Those who use social networking sites were asked some further questions about privacy. Only 7% felt that the sites they used for social networking explained very clearly to them what they will do with their personal information. Another three in ten said it was explained to them somewhat clearly, while a majority said those explanations were vague, whether somewhat (32%) or very (29%).

However, a majority of social network subscribers (64%) felt that the sites provided them with the options or settings they needed to protect the privacy of the personal information they posted, and in fact, most (80%) actually said they changed the default settings to increase their privacy protection.

Social Networking Privacy Risks

Demographic differences to note:

  • As was seen when talking about other privacy concerns, older Canadians 55+ were more likely to express concerns about the risks of posting personal information on social networking sites: 64% in this group expressed concerns, compared to 55% among those 35-54 and less than half (45%) among the youngest category.
  • This could be explained, at least in part, by the fact that younger users of social networks are more likely to feel those sites provide them with enough options to protect their personal information online (70%), compared to those between 35 and 54 (61%) and 55+ (54%).
  • As well, they were more likely (86%) to have actually changed their privacy settings, compared to those between 35 and 54 (79%) and 55+ (63%).
Canadians believe Internet companies should ask permission to track online behaviour

Most Canadians (83%) believe that Internet companies should be asking permission to track Internet usage and behaviour. At the same time, more than three quarters (77%) felt it to be very important that websites actively inform users about what kinds of personal information they are collecting and how they use it. Another 17% said this was somewhat important and only a handful found this not very (3%) or not at all important (2%).

Consumer Tracking

Demographic differences to note:

  • Again, an age difference was noted: Older Canadians aged 55+ were more likely to say consent for consumer tracking was very important (79%, compared to 71% among those 34 and younger). However, the younger group was more likely to find this somewhat important (24%, compared to 12% among those 55+), rather than unimportant.
  • Those with a high school education or less and those in the lowest income category ($40K or less) were most likely to find this not important (8%, compared to 3%-4% among the rest).

Interviewers explained to respondents that currently, police and intelligence agencies are able to request information from telecommunications companies about Canadians and their internet usage, such as email records, email content, and web sites visited with a warrant issued by the courts. Respondents were then asked how they felt about these agencies having the ability to access this information without a warrant. This idea was rejected by most Canadians (82%).

Concerns with Canada Sharing More Personal Information

Demographic differences to note:

  • While 19% among those over the age of 34 felt it was appropriate for agencies to access this information without a warrant, this percentage was lower (12%) among those between 18 and 34.
Online privacy policies rarely consulted, and not always clear

Although Canadians voiced some concerns with several aspects of their online privacy, only one in five said they always (7%) or often (14%) read the privacy policies for Internet sites they visit. Another 28% said they sometimes read privacy policies, while half either rarely (25%) or never (25%) did so.

Those who at least on some occasions read these policies, were divided on how clear they were in terms of providing information about what the company would do with their personal information, with a small majority leaning towards them being unclear. While more than half found the privacy policies to be either somewhat vague (35%) or very vague (18%), 5% found them very clear and 37% found them to be somewhat clear.

Privacy Policy for Internet Sites

Demographic differences to note:

  • Privacy policies are more often read by younger Canadians than by seniors. Among those 55+, 28% said they never read them, compared to 22% among the younger age categories. While 22% of those between 18 and 54 said they always or often read them, this percentage was lower (17%) among those 55+.
  • Women (24%) were more likely than men (17%) to have said they read them always or often, while 27% of men (and 22% of women) never read them.
  • At the same time, the policies were better understood by women (46% saying they were very or somewhat clear) than by men (38%), and were clearer to those under the age of 35 (48%) than to those 35-54 (41%) and 55+ (38%). It must be noted that the differences come from the percentages saying "somewhat clear" rather than "very clear," which were equally small (between 3% and 6% for all groups).
Younger Canadians highest users of new technology and also most likely to take steps to protect their privacy

As would be expected, all new technologies tested and discussed in this section of the report, whether cell phone or internet related, saw the highest usage among 18-to-34-year-olds and the lowest usage among older Canadians. As can be seen from the graph below, it also appears that younger Canadians are more likely to have taken steps to protect their privacy when using these new technologies, such as using password locks on mobile devices, adjusting settings to limit sharing or increasing privacy settings on the social networking sites they use.

% indicating 'YES' to each question

National Security and Public Safety
Canadians worried about foreign governments using personal information

Interviewers explained to survey respondents that security measures at borders generally require the collection of personal information, and that Canadian authorities may collect and store this information in databases and have the option to share it with foreign officials.

Half of Canadians felt they understood how the information they provided at borders and airports was used, either very well (18%) or fairly well (30%), while the rest indicated they either did not understand this very well (31%) or did not understand this at all (17%).

Security Measure at Boarders and Airports

Demographic differences to note:

  • The most frequent flyers (six or more flights from Canada in the past year) were most likely to say they understood this very or fairly well (60%), compared to 48% among those who did not travel by air and 45% among those who took between one and five flights.
  • As well, those who traveled to the U.S. in particular (by any means of transportation) six or more times in the past year indicated that they had a higher level of understanding (56% very or fairly well, compared to 45% among non-U.S. travelers and 50% among those who made between one and five trips to the U.S.).
  • Among men, 21% said they understood this information very well, while among women, this was lower (15%). Women were more likely to say they did not understand this very well (34%, compared to 29% among men). Percentages for the other categories were equal between the genders.

Three in ten Canadians said they were concerned about the personal information they provide at borders or airports being used by other Canadian government agencies, half showed some level of concern, and one in five were not concerned about this. At the same time, concern with the information being shared between the Canadian government and foreign authorities was higher: almost half (47%) showed concern about this, with another 38% being somewhat concerned and only 14% saying they were not concerned about this.

Should Canada choose to start sharing more information than it currently does with the United States, this would be of concern to 44% of Canadians, while one in five said they were not worried about this.

Use and Sharing of Personal Information

Demographic differences to note:

About concern about this information being used by other Canadian government departments or agencies

  • Concern rose with age: Among those 55+, 38% expressed concern, compared to 28% among those 35-54 and 22% among younger Canadians.
  • As well, the most frequent flyers (six or more flights in the past year) were most likely to be not concerned (32%), compared to 22% among medium-frequency flyers and 17% among those who did not fly.
  • Men were least likely to be concerned (23% saying they were not concerned, compared to 18% among women). Women, however, were more likely to be somewhat concerned (52%, compared to 45% among men).

About concern about the Canadian government sharing information with foreign governments

  • Concern again rose with age: Among those 55+, 53% expressed concern, compared to 46% among those 35-54 and 39% among younger Canadians.
  • Again, the most frequent flyers (six or more flights in the past year) were most likely to be not concerned (21%), compared to 14% among medium-frequency flyers and 13% among those who did not fly.

About the possibility that Canada would share more information with the U.S.

  • Concern again rose with age: Among those 55+, 38% expressed extreme concern (7 on the 7-point scale), compared to 31% among those 35-54 and 25% among younger Canadians.
  • Those who traveled to the U.S. most frequently, were generally less concerned about this, with 38% expressing concern, compared to 40% among medium-frequency travelers and 47% among those who did not travel to the U.S.
  • Concern was also highest among those who did not take any flights in the past year (46% saying concerned, compared to 42% among medium-frequency flyers and 35% among the most frequent flyers).
Attitudes about Genetic Privacy
Many Canadians concerned about companies offering genetic testing

A few questions were added to this year’s survey about genetic testing. More specifically, about the emergence of companies that offer people genetic testing to get information about whether they have an increased risk of developing certain conditions or diseases – everything from baldness to diabetes – without involving a health care professional. A test typically requires a user to collect their own DNA sample, often by providing saliva or swabbing the inside of the cheek, and then asks them to mail the sample to a laboratory.

This idea appeared to have some traction with a small group of Canadians. Overall, 8% said they were very interested in this type of service and another 18% said they were somewhat interested. However, the majority did not find this idea very appealing:  55% was not at all interested and another 18% not very interested.

Attitudes about Genetic Testing

The main privacy concern expressed by respondents about this service related to personal information potentially being used or disclosed in an unauthorized way. Fully 79% of Canadians indicated they were concerned about this, while only 6% were not. Giving genetic information to an organization that is not necessarily subject to health privacy regulations raised alarm bells among an almost equal percentage (78%), while half of Canadians were concerned that they might have to provide test results to life insurance companies.

Genetic Testing Privacy Regulations

Demographic differences to note:

About concern about giving genetic information to organizations not necessarily subject to health privacy regulations

  • Women (69%) were more likely than men (65%) to be extremely concerned about this, as were older Canadians aged 55+ (71%) and between 35 and 54 (70%), compared to those younger (58%).

About concern about their information potentially being used in an unauthorized way

  • Again, older Canadians aged 55+ were more likely to express extreme concern (72%), compared to those between 35 and 54 (68%), and those younger (57%).

About possibly being required to provide test results to an insurance company

  • The same trend continues with this issue, as younger Canadians under 35 were the least likely to express extreme concern (31%) compared to those 35-54 (41%) and older Canadians aged 55+ (38%).

Top of Page Table of Contents Detailed Methodology

A telephone survey was conducted with a randomly selected and representative sample of 2,000 Canadian adults, 18 years and over, between February 23 and March 6, 2011. The results are valid within a margin of error of +/- 2.2%, nineteen times out of twenty. The margins of error are larger for sub-group results (for example age, gender, region).

Data were weighted to reflect the population in terms of age, gender and regional distribution.

A pre-test was undertaken on February 23, 2011 with 11 English respondents and on February 24, 2011, with 11 French respondents in order to test the questionnaire for clarity, flow and length. The interviews were recorded and analyzed by Harris/Decima consultants, who prepared a debrief for the OPC Project Authority.

Random Digit Dialling technology was used for the survey and within each household, a respondent was randomly chosen by using the “last birthday” method. Interviews were approximately 16 minutes in length.

The following table presents the final call dispositions for this survey, as well as the response rate, calculated using the MRIA’s Empirical formula.

A (1-14) Total Attempted 52143
1 Not in service (disp 4,44,47) 2695
2 Fax (disp 10,46) 1346
3 Invalid #/Wrong# (disp 9,12,13,43,77,88) 8681
B (4-14) Total Eligible 39421
4 Busy (disp 2,42) 1092
5 Answering machine (disp 3,8,45) 14170
6 No answer (disp 1,41,48) 9774
7 Language barrier (disp 11) 528
8 Ill/Incapable (disp 14) 135
9 Eligible not available/Callback (disp 6,7) 926
C (10-14) Total Asked 12796
10 Household/Company Refusal (disp 15,21) 4882
11 Respondent Refusal (disp 22,23,26,27,89) 5612
12 Qualified Termination (disp 24,28,29) 244
D (13-14) Co-operative Contact 2058
13 Not Qualified (disp 3X,25) 36
14 Completed Interview (disp 20) 2022
  REFUSAL RATE 83.92
  (10+11+12) / C  
  RESPONSE RATE 5.22
  D (13-14) / B (4-14)  
  INCIDENCE* 98.44
  [(14+12) / (13+14+12)]*100  
  [(CI+QualTM)/(NQ+CI+QualTM)]*100  

*MRIA does not have a standard incidence calculation.

Top of Page Table of Contents Appendix: Study Materials

Questionnaire – English

Note: The non-sequential numbering of the questions reflects changes that were made to shorten the questionnaire after the pre-test phase.

Introduction

Hello, my name is ... and I'm calling from Harris/Decima, a public opinion research firm. We are conducting a short survey on behalf of the Government of Canada on a number of issues currently in the news. It is totally voluntary and all responses will be kept strictly confidential. We are talking to people 18 years and over who are permanent residents of Canada and we would like to talk to the person in your household who had the most recent birthday. Would that be you?

[INTERVIEWER NOTE: IF PERSON SELECTED IS NOT AVAILABLE OVER INTERVIEW PERIOD, ASK FOR PERSON WITH NEXT MOST RECENT BIRTHDAY.]

  1. Yes, speaking - CONTINUE
  2. Yes, transfers – RE-INTRODUCE
  3. No, not available – ARRANGE CALLBACK
  4. No, refused – THANK AND TERMINATE
  5. D1. Record gender [DO NOT ASK]
  1. Male (1)
  2. Female (2)

1. Are you aware of any federal institutions that help Canadians deal with privacy and the protection of personal information from inappropriate collection, use and disclosure? (INTERVIEWER NOTE: By personal information we mean things like name; address and telephone number; email address or date of birth.)

  1. Yes, clearly (1)
  2. Yes, vaguely (2)
  3. Not (3)
  4. DK/NR (9)

[ASK IF Q1=1 or 2]

2. Which FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS are you aware of? [DO NOT READ - DO NOT PROMPT]

  1. OFFICE OF THE PRIVACY COMMISSIONER OF CANADA (1)
  2. RECALL AGENCY, BUT CANNOT SPECIFY NAME (2)
  3. JUSTICE AGENCIES,EX.JUSTICE DEPARTMENT,COURTS (3)
  4. LAW ENFORCEMENT/SECURITY AGENCIES, EX.RCMP/POLICE/CSIS (4)
  5. CANADA REVENUE AGENCY (5)
  6. CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCIES,CONSUMER AFFAIRS (6)
  7. HRDC (8)
  8. GOV/T OMBUDSMAN (7)
  9. BANKS(GENERAL) (9)
  10. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (10)
  11. STATISTICS CANADA (11)
  12. AGENCIES RELATED TO HEALTH OF CANADIANS,EX.HEALTH CANADA,PROVINCIAL HEALTH MINISTRIES (12)
  13. ACCESS TO INFORMATION & PRIVACY ACT/PRIVACY ACT/FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (MENTIONS OF "ACTS") (13)
  14. CRTC (CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION) (14)
  15. OTHER (please specify) (97)
  16. DK/NR (99)

3 .How would you rate your knowledge of your privacy rights under the various laws protecting your personal information? Would you say very poor, poor, neither good nor bad, good or very good?

  1. Very poor (1)
  2. Poor (2)
  3. Neither good nor bad (3)
  4. Good (4)
  5. Very good (5)
  6. DK/NR (9)

4. In your day to day life, how good of a job would you say you are doing to protect the privacy of your own personal information. Would you say very poor, poor, neither good nor bad, good or very good?

  1. Very poor (1)
  2. Poor (2)
  3. Neither good nor bad (3)
  4. Good (4)
  5. Very good (5)
  6. DK/NR (9)

5. Have you ever actively sought out information about your privacy rights, for example by contacting an organization, visiting a Web site, or reviewing a publication for guidance?

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

[ROTATE NEXT 2 QUESTIONS ON BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT]

6. In your opinion, how seriously do businesses take their responsibility to protect consumer personal information? Please use a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 is not at all seriously, 7 is extremely seriously and 4 is somewhat seriously.

  1. Not at all seriously (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat seriously (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely seriously (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)

7. In your opinion, how seriously does the federal government take their responsibility to protect citizen personal information? Please use a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 is not at all seriously, 7 is extremely seriously and 4 is somewhat seriously.

  1. Not at all seriously (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat seriously (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely seriously (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)

25. Now, I am going to read out a list of concerns that people might have about businesses holding their personal information. Please use a 7 point scale where 1 means you are not at all concerned about businesses doing this, 7 means you are extremely concerned and the mid-point 4 means you are somewhat concerned about this. How about organizations...[PLEASE ROTATE]

  1. Sharing with or selling your personal information to other organizations
  2. Not keeping your personal information secure
  3. Requesting too much personal information
  4. Holding inaccurate or out of date information about you
  5. Sending you  unwanted emails, faxes, letters or telephone calls
  6. Holding information for longer than required
  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)

8. If an organization breaks privacy law, what actions should government agencies who oversee Canada’s privacy laws take? [READ LIST] [YES/NO FOR EACH QUESTION]

  1. Name the organization publicly?
  2. Take the organization to court?
  3. Make non-binding recommendations to the organization about how to improve privacy protections?
  4. Legally require the organization to put the necessary privacy protections in place?
  5. Fine the organization?
  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

9. Please rate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following statements using a 7 point scale where 1 means you strongly disagree, 7 means you strongly agree and the mid-point 4 means you neither agree nor disagree. [DO NOT ROTATE]

  1. I feel I have less protection of my personal information in my daily life than I did ten years ago.
  2. Protecting the personal information of Canadians will be one of the most important issues facing our country in the next ten years.
  3. I feel confident that I have enough information to know how new technologies might affect my personal privacy.
  1. Strongly disagree (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Neither agree nor disagree (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Strongly agree (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)

10. Are there any new technologies that you are particularly concerned about with respect to privacy issues? If so, which ones?

  1. HACKING TECHNOLOGIES/INVASION OF PRIVACY/IDENTITY THEFT (UNPROTECTED DATABASES, HACKING INTO COMPANY/GOVERNMENT INFO, TRANSACTION INFO, INFO NOT BEING PROTECTED BY COMPANIES/GOVERNMENT...) (1)
  2. INTERNET/COMPUTER USE (GENERAL MENTION; INCLUDES MENTIONS OF 'ELECTRONIC' AND "WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES") (2)
  3. ON LINE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES/MUSIC, VIDEO, CHAT (FACEBOOK, YOU TUBE, CHAT ROOMS, GAMING SITES...) (3)
  4. BANKING/ON LINE BANKING (4)
  5. USE OF CELL PHONE/TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY/HANDHELD DEVICES; PDA'S, BLACKBERRIES, MOBILE DEVICES) (5)
  6. CREDIT CARDS/DEBIT CARD CONCERNS OF TRANSACTIONS/USE (CARDS IN GENERAL) (6)
  7. COMPANIES/ORGS SELLING INFORMATION/SHARING INFORMATION/MISUSE OF INFORMATION (INCLUDES DATA MINING, TELEMARKETING, SOLICITING, INCLUDES DO NOT CALL LISTS BEING MISUSED) (7)
  8. SURVEILLANCE/TRACKING/RECORDING TECHNOLOGIES (CARD/LICENCE CHIP TECHNOLOGY, SATELITE, GPS, CAMERAS, PHONE TAPPING, RF-ID'S, SMART CARDS...) (8)
  9. OTHER (SPECIFY) (97)
  10. NO/None (98)
  11. DK/NR (99)
Mobile devices

11. Do you use a mobile device (cell phone, mobile phone, smart phone, tablet, etc)?

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

[IF USE A MOBILE DEVICE, ASK:]

12. Thinking of how you use that mobile device, please tell me if you do any of the following.  Do you…[RECORD YES/NO FOR EACH QUESTION – PLEASE RANDMIZE]

  1. Store personal information on it
  2. Use a password lock on it
  3. Download applications or “apps” for it (INTERVIEWER NOTE: Apps are applications designed to run on the device.)
  4. Adjust settings of the device or apps to limit the amount of personal information that they share with others
  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

[IF USE A MOBILE DEVICE, ASK:]

13. Does your mobile device have GPS capabilities? (INTERVIEWER NOTE: GPS is global positioning satellite service that provides your specific location.)

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

14. [IF MOBILE DEVICE HAS GPS] Do you have the GPS enabled to use location-based services?

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

15. [IF YES TO PREVIOUS] How concerned are you about risks to your personal information when you are using your mobile device and the GPS is enabled? Please use a 7 point scale where 1 means not at all concerned, 7 means extremely concerned and the mid-point 4 means somewhat concerned.

  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)

[ALL]

Wi-Fi

16. In the past year, have you used Wi-Fi networks in public spaces such as an airport or coffee shop?

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

17. [IF YES TO PREVIOUS] How concerned are you about risks to your personal information when using these networks? Please use a 7 point scale where 1 means not at all concerned, 7 means extremely concerned and the mid-point 4 means somewhat concerned.

  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)
Social networking

18. Do you use any social networking site such as Facebook, MySpace or Linked-in?

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

20. How concerned are you about risks of posting personal information on social networking sites? Please use a 7 point scale where 1 means not at all concerned, 7 means extremely concerned and the mid-point 4 means somewhat concerned.

  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)

[ASK ALL]

[IF RESPONDENT USES SOCIAL NETWORK SITE]

21. How clearly do you feel that social networking sites you use explain what they will do with your personal information? Do they explain it very clearly, somewhat clearly, pretty somewhat vaguely or very vaguely?

  1. Very clearly (1)
  2. Somewhat clearly (2)
  3. Somewhat vaguely (3)
  4. Very vaguely (4)
  5. DK/NR (9)

[IF RESPONDENT USES SOCIAL NETWORK SITE]

22. Do you feel the social networking sites you use provide you with the options or settings you need to protect the privacy of the personal information you post?

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

[IF RESPONDENT USES SOCIAL NETWORK SITE]

23. Did you change the default settings for your social networking tools to increase privacy protection?

  1. Yes( 1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

[ALL]

26. When you think about the information available about you online, please tell me how concerned you are about each of the following. Please use a 7 point scale where 1 means not at all concerned, 7 means extremely concerned and the mid-point 4 means somewhat concerned. How concerned are you about [PLEASE RANDOMIZE]

  1. Businesses or people you don’t know getting personal information about you or your family
  2. Governments using this information for their own purposes
  3. Marketing companies using this information to analyse your likes and dislikes
  4. Companies or organizations using this information to send you spam? (INTERVIEWER NOTE: Spam is unsolicited email)
  5. People using this information to commit crimes that could harm you or others
  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)
Consumer tracking

27. And now, with a yes or no answer, please tell me whether you think that Internet companies should ask for your permission to track what you do on the Internet?

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)

28. How important do you feel it is for websites to actively inform you about what kinds of personal information they are collecting and how they use it? Would you say it is very important they do this, somewhat important, not very important or not at all important?

  1. Very important (1)
  2. Somewhat important (2)
  3. Not very important (3)
  4. Not at all important (4)
  5. DK/NR (9)
Privacy policies

29. How often do you read the privacy policies for Internet sites you visit? Do you never, rarely, sometimes, often, or always read them?

  1. Never (1)
  2. Rarely (2)
  3. Sometimes (3)
  4. Often (4)
  5. Always (5)
  6. DK/NR (9)

30. [SKIP IF NEVER IN PREVIOUS Q] In general, how clear do you find that privacy policies for Internet sites you visit are in terms of giving you information about what the company will do with your personal information? Are they very clear, somewhat clear, somewhat vague or very vague?

  1. Very clear (1)
  2. Somewhat clear (2)
  3. Somewhat vague (3)
  4. Very vague (4)
  5. DK/NR (9)
National Security and Public Safety

Security measures at borders and airports generally require the collection of personal information. Canadian authorities may collect and store this information in databases, and/or share it with officials in the United States and elsewhere.

31. Would you say you understand very well, fairly well, not very well or you don’t understand at all how the information you provide at borders and airports will be used?

  1. Not at all (1)
  2. Not very well (2)
  3. Fairly well (3)
  4. Very well (4)
  5. DK/NR (9)

32. How concerned are you about this information being used by other Canadian government departments or agencies, for example to verify claims for social benefits or payment of taxes? Please use a scale from 1 to 7 where 1 means not at all concerned, 7 means extremely concerned and 4 means somewhat concerned.

  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)

33. And using the same scale, please tell me, how concerned are you about how much information the Canadian government may share with foreign governments or authorities?

  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)

34. And more specifically, if Canada began sharing more personal information with the United States to enhance border security, how concerned would you be? [If necessary, read: please use the same scale from 1 to 7 where 1 means not at all concerned, 7 means extremely concerned and 4 means somewhat concerned.],

  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)

36. Currently, police and intelligence agencies are able to request information from telecommunications companies about Canadians and their internet usage such as email records, email content, and web sites visited with a warrant issued by the courts. Should they be able to access this information without a warrant? [INTERVIEWER NOTE: EMPHASIS ON “WITH” and “WITHOUT”]

  1. Yes (1)
  2. No (2)
  3. DK/NR (9)
Attitudes about genetic privacy

There are now companies that offer people genetic testing to get information about whether they have an increased risk of developing certain conditions or diseases – everything from baldness to diabetes -- without involving a health care professional. A test typically requires a user to collect their own DNA sample, often by providing saliva or swabbing the inside of the cheek, and then asks them to mail the sample to a laboratory.

37. How interested would you be in this type of service? Would you be very interested, somewhat interested, not very interested or not interested at all?

  1. Very interested (1)
  2. Somewhat interested (2)
  3. Not very interested (3)
  4. Not at all interested (4)
  5. DK/NR (9)

38. Now I have a few questions about issues that may or may not concern people about this type of service. For each of the following, please use a scale from 1 to 7 where 1 means you are not at all concerned about this, 7 means extremely concerned and 4 means somewhat concerned. How about...[PLEASE ROTATE]

  1. giving your genetic information to an organization that is not necessarily subject to health privacy regulations?
  2. your information potentially being used  or disclosed in an unauthorized way?
  3. you might be required to provide your test results to an insurance company when applying for life insurance?
  1. Not at all concerned (1)
  2. (2)
  3. (3)
  4. Somewhat concerned (4)
  5. (5)
  6. (6)
  7. Extremely concerned (7)
  8. DK/NR (9)
Demographics

These final questions are used for statistical purposes only.

D2. Which of the following best describes your current household? ** IF THEY SAY THEY ARE LIVING WITH THEIR PARENT(S) THEN THE HOUSEHOLD IS EITHER 08 (ONE ADULT WITH CHILD/CHILDREN) OR 09 (MARRIED OR COMMON-LAW COUPLE, WITH CHILDREN)

  1. One person, living alone (1)
  2. One adult with child/children under the age of 18 (2)
  3. A married or common-law couple, without children (3)
  4. A married or common-law couple, with children under the age of 18 (4)
  5. Two or more unrelated persons (5)
  6. Living with relatives other than parents (6)
  7. More than one adult with child/children under the age of 18 (7)
  8. MARRIED OR COMMON LAW COUPLE WITH ADULT CHILDREN (8)
  9. SINGLE PARENT WITH ADULT CHILDREN (9)
  10. OTHER (97)
  11. DK/NR (99)

D3. What is the highest level of schooling that you have completed?

  1. No certificate; diploma or degree (1)
  2. High school certificate or equivalent (2)
  3. Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma (3)
  4. College; CEGEP or other non-university certificate or Diploma (4)
  5. University certificate or diploma below the bachelor level (5)
  6. University certificate; diploma or degree at bachelor's level or Above (6)
  7. DK/NR (99)

D4. In what year were you born? NOTE: ANSWER THE FULL YEAR, I.E. 1977 as "1977"

IF HESTITANT MOVE ONTO NEXT QUESTION

If... QAGE20.EQ.9999

[IF DK/REF TO PREVIOUS Q] May I place your age into one of the following general age categories?

  1. Under 25 (1)
  2. 25-34 years (2)
  3. 35-44 years (3)
  4. 45-54 years (4)
  5. 55-64 years (5)
  6. 65-74 years (6)
  7. 75 years or older (7)
  8. (DO NOT READ) DK/NR (9)

D5. What is your annual household income from all sources before taxes?

READ LIST IF NECESSARY

  1. Less than $10,000 (1)
  2. $10,000 to $19,999 (2)
  3. $20,000 to $39,999 (3)
  4. $40,000 to $59,999 (4)
  5. $60,000 to $79,999 (5)
  6. $80,000 to $99,999 (6)
  7. $100,000 or more (7)
  8. (DO NOT READ) DK/NR (9)

D6. Do you consider yourself to belong to any of the following groups? PROMPT IF

NECESSARY: A member of a visible minority by virtue of your race or colour

READ LIST, CHOOSE ALL THAT APPLY

  1. A member of a visible minority (1)
  2. An Aboriginal person (2)
  3. A disabled person (3)
  4. (DO NOT READ) None (4)
  5. (DO NOT READ) DK/NR (9)

D7. Do you have internet access at home or at work?

  1. No (1)
  2. Yes – only at home (2)
  3. Yes – only at work (3)
  4. Yes - both (4)
  5. (DO NOT READ) DK/NR (9)

D8. How many flights have you taken from Canadian airports in the past year? [INTERVIEWER NOTE: THIS COULD BE FOR CANADIAN OR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL]

Record #:

D9. How many trips have you made to the United States in the past year? This could be by any means of transportation, whether plane, car, bus, train, etc.

Record #:

D10. Have you heard of any cyber attacks on government of Canada networks in the past few weeks?

  1. Yes, clearly (1)
  2. Yes, vaguely (2)
  3. No (3)
  4. DK/NR (9)

D11. And lastly, what is your postal code?

This concludes the survey. Thank you for your participation. Good-bye.

RECORD:

  1. Language of Survey
  2. Region
  3. Length of interview (minutes)