Skip to main content
  • State of the Internet

Report finds massive drop in Canadians’ willingness to disclose personal information for free online services

By Josh Tabish
Public Affairs Manager

OTTAWA – May 28, 2020 – Today, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released its 2020 Canadians Deserve a Better Internet Report, which provides an overview of Canadians’ views on key digital and internet policy issues. The report will help inform policy discussions ahead of the Canadian Internet Governance Forum, which has been rescheduled to November 24th and 25th due to COVID-19.

Overall, the report shows Canadians growing anxiety about cybersecurity-related issues, including a significant drop in their willingness to disclose personal information for better content and services online. In 2019, 72 per cent of Canadians said they were willing to disclose some or a little personal information in exchange for valuable content or service. Only one year later, with the exception of online banking services, the vast majority of Canadians say they are unwilling to share their personal data in exchange for better online services.

Key Findings from Canadian Internet Users:

  • With the exception of online banking services (52%), most Canadians indicate that they are unwilling to share their personal data in exchange for better products and services:
    • 26 per cent for better video streaming services,
    • 23 per cent for social media websites,
    • 6 per cent for digital advertising
    • 15 per cent for internet-connected devices like baby monitors.
  • 83 per cent believe it is important that government data, including the personal information of Canadians, be stored and transmitted in Canada only.
  • 7-in-10 are concerned about potential cybersecurity risks from foreign-owned network technologies like Huawei Technologies.
  • 74 per cent have privacy or security concerns related to connected-home devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.
  • 82 per cent support a change in the Officer of the Privacy Commissioner’s legal authority that would give it powers to make orders and issue fines for companies who fail to comply with Canadian privacy law.
  • Over half of Canadians (54%) indicate that they definitely or probably came across fake news stories about Canadian politics or politicians in the lead up to, or during, the 2019 federal election.
  • 16 per cent indicate that they have used a fax machine to send documents to a government department or agency in the past year because it would not accept scanned documents by email.

Executive Quote

Join us at the Canadian Internet Governance Forum

The Canadian IGF is Canada’s leading multi-stakeholder forum on internet policy issues. This year’s event has been rescheduled from March to November 24th and 25th, and will be held online as an all virtual event in response to COVID-19. The inaugural Canadian IGF last year in Toronto brought together over 200 representatives from government, civil society, and the private sector to tackle public policy issues facing the internet.

The postponed event will feature a similar program as the original, including keynote speeches and panel discussions on issues including encryption, AI, cybersecurity and more. CIRA is one of the many organizing partners and this year’s presenting sponsor for the event. The forum is also sponsored by CANARIE, Cybera and ICANN.

About the Canadian Internet Registration Authority

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services—such as D-Zone DNS Firewall—that help support its goal of building a better online Canada. The CIRA team operates one of the fastest-growing country code top-level domains (ccTLD), a high-performance global DNS network, and one of the world’s most advanced back-end registry solutions. You can learn more at