Three Quarters Disapprove of Bill C-13

| Filed under: National, Social Issues

CSEC, department stores, telcos least trusted with private data

TORONTO JUNE 15th, 2014 – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1433 Canadians 18 years of age and older, fully three quarters disagreed with the central provisions of the federal government's 'anti-cyber bullying law', or bill C-13 (73%) and just 1-in-7 approve (15%). Disapproval is strongest among the youngest (78%), males (77%), mid ($40K to $60K) and high income groups ($80K to $100K - 78% each) and among New Democrats (80%).

4-in-10 post confidential information online

Four-in-ten Canadians post confidential private information, such as credit card numbers, social insurance numbers or birth dates online (40%), and this behaviour is common to the youngest (52%), those in mid income groups ($60 to $80K - 45%), in Atlantic Canada (48%) and Alberta (44%). Close to 6-in-10 have not posted this kind of data online (57%) and fewer than one twentieth have no computers or online access (4%).

Wide majority expect online data to remain private

As many as 8-in-10 of those who post private data online expect this data to remain private (79%), while one seventh are less sanguine about their privacy (15%). Fewer than one tenth don't have an opinion (6%). Expectations of privacy are highest among the oldest (87%), the wealthiest ($80K+ - 85%) in Atlantic Canada and Alberta.

Bank data seen to be most crucial to privacy

When asked which type of data breach would be most serious, the plurality, one third, select the release of bank account numbers and balances (33%), followed closely by credit card numbers and data (25%) and only then by medical files (12%).

Family doctor most trusted with private data, department stores least trusted

More than 6-in-10 Canadians trust their family doctor "a great deal " with their private information (61%), and this is the only mention listed which exceeds about one third on this measure. Just more than a third trust the RCMP a great deal (37%), followed by the Canada Revenue Agency (31%), CSIS (23%) and the Canadian Border Services Agency (20%). At the bottom of the list, as the least trusted with personal information, are the Communications Security Establishment (CSEC - 8%), the major telecommunications companies (7%) and, especially, department stores like Target and Walmart ("trust a great deal" - 3%).

More than two thirds disapprove of telcos handing over data

When told that Canadian telcos responded to a million requests a year for private data, two thirds disapprove (69%), and just one fifth (18%) approve. One seventh don't have an opinion (14%). In fact, the only groups among whom approval exceeds one fifth are Albertans (21%) and Conservatives (26%).

Canadians are quite rightly upset at the volume of their personal data which is routinely available to law enforcement and others with less pure motives. It is clear they don't want their data made available and expect it not to be. It is instructive that among the agencies trusted the least with their data are CSEC, which is in charge of collecting it, and the telecommunications companies, who are the ones who are legally permitted to supply it," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.