Three-quarters of Canadians feel more comfortable sharing their personal data with businesses if there is transparency: Canadian Marketing Association

Jan 24, 2024

Research supports the CMA’s position for Parliament to adopt Bill C-27 with targeted amendments

TORONTO, January 23, 2024 – Research from the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) reveals that three-quarters of Canadians feel more comfortable sharing their personal data with businesses for marketing purposes if there is transparency on how their data is being used and if they have the opportunity to adjust their preferences over time.  

“Canadians expect organizations to intuitively deliver the products and services that they need and want. They are demanding faster, better and more relevant information from companies to help them make informed purchase decisions,” said Sara Clodman, chief public affairs and governance officer, CMA. “Responsible use of data to personalize experiences is key to providing value and cost-savings to consumers, and to delivering on their increasingly sophisticated expectations.”

Addressing Consumer Concerns  
The greatest concern consumers have about their personal information online is having their data stolen or misused by bad actors (53%), compared to having their information used to target ads and offers to them by that business/organization (5%) or by a third party with their consent (6%). A stronger privacy law would significantly increase Canadians’ comfort in sharing their personal information, particularly a law that sets out the following requirements, both of which appear in the proposed Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA): 

  • Higher fines for companies that don’t follow the rules (65%). 
  • More requirements for plain and clear information so consumers can better understand how their data is handled (61%). 

These insights come at a pivotal time as Data Privacy Week, an observance that highlights the impact technology is having on privacy rights, is taking place January 22-26, 2024, with the theme of “Take control of your data.” While updated privacy laws are critical, CMA research found the vast majority of Canadians (92%) believe that individuals have at least some (31%) if not all or a lot (61%) of the responsibility for protecting their privacy.

“This underscores the need for modernized protections for Canadians and the need for regulatory certainty for businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses,” Clodman said. 

Bill C-27

This past fall, the CMA appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology to urge the adoption of the CPPA – with targeted amendments – to modernize consumer privacy protections and ensure: 

  • A more targeted and effective approach to protecting the personal information of minors.   
  • A meaningful consent model to better combat consent fatigue.  
  • A framework for de-identified and anonymized data that doesn’t overly restrict its benefits.   

The CPPA is needed to modernize consumer protections and provide businesses with certainty. It would enable small and medium-sized Canadian businesses to compete in the global marketplace. A delay in adopting this legislation would encourage a patchwork of privacy legislation across the country, as provinces move to enact or reform their own private sector privacy laws to fill the gaps, resulting in confusion and complexity for Canadian businesses and consumers.

The CMA’s submission to the parliamentary committee can be found here.  

About the Research 

The findings are from a study released by Sago between September 29 to October 3, among a random selection of 1,563 of Canadian adults ages 18+ who are online panelists of the AskingCanadians panel.  
The results were weighted by education, age, gender, and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.  

About the Canadian Marketing Association   

The CMA is the voice of marketing in Canada and our purpose is to champion marketing’s powerful impact. We are the catalyst to help Canada’s marketers thrive today, while building the marketing mindset and environment of tomorrow.  

We provide opportunities for our members from coast to coast to develop professionally, to contribute to marketing thought leadership, to build strong networks, and to strengthen the regulatory climate for business success. Our Chartered Marketer (CM) designation signifies that recipients are highly qualified and up to date with best practices, as reflected in the Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics and Standards. We represent virtually all of Canada's major business sectors, and all marketing disciplines, channels and technologies. Our Consumer Centre helps Canadians better understand their rights and obligations. For more information, visit  


Nathaniel Glassman  
Kaiser & Partners 




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