Toronto, 26.01.2017

In global GfK study, Canadians show strong reluctance to share personal data

* Just 14% of Canadians say they will provide information in exchange for benefits, rewards – versus 27% global average

* Canadians also have high likelihood to disagree with the idea of sharing information

* “Twenty-something” Canadians are most likely to provide data

In a newly released GfK study of 17 countries, Canadians were among the least likely to say they will share personal data in exchange for benefits and rewards.

GfK asked people online to indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with the statement, “I am willing to share my personal data (health, financial, driving records, energy use, etc.) in exchange for benefits or rewards like lower costs or personalized service” – using a scale where “1” means “don’t agree at all” and “7” means “agree completely.”

Just 14% of Canadians strongly agreed (“1” or “2” on the 7-point scale) with the statement, compared to a global average of 27%.  In addition, almost one-third (31%) of Canadians firmly disagreed with the idea of data sharing – much higher than the global average of 19%.

Canadian men and women were almost equally likely to agree with the idea of providing personal information – 13% for women and 15% for men; globally, the figures for both genders were identical, at 27%. Levels of disagreement among men and women were also very similar in Canada and globally.

Canadians in the 20- to 29-year-old age group were most likely to express willingness to share data, with a 24% agreement rate. Globally, the 20-to-29 and 30-to-39 age groups were almost equal in willingness, at 33% and 34% respectively.

People in China are most ready to share their personal data in exchange for benefits, with 38 percent of the online population saying they are firmly willing to do so and only eight percent firmly unwilling. Other countries with higher than average levels of willingness are Mexico (30%), Russia (29%) and Italy (28%).

US consumers were much closer to the global averages in both agreeing (25%) and disagreeing (23%) with information sharing in exchange for benefits.    

The five countries with the highest levels of people firmly against sharing their data are Germany (40%), France (37%), Brazil (34%), Canada (31%) and the Netherlands (30%).

By using GfK’s findings, businesses are able to save time and resources by recognizing in advance which target audiences in each country are likely to respond to standard data-sharing offers, and which audiences will require bespoke offers that are aligned with their specific mindsets.

To download full findings for each of the 17 countries, visit

About the study

GfK conducted the online survey with over 22,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 17 countries. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. Countries covered are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.

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