SOURCE: Symantec


December 15, 2009 09:00 ET

Canadians Concerned About Security of Personal Data

Online Retailers Score Lowest in Customer Confidence, According to Recent Survey

TORONTO--(Marketwire - December 15, 2009) - Canadians preparing for the holidays agree their personal data might be safe with banks and the public sector, but they do not have as much faith in online retailers and the hospitality industry, according to a new Angus Reid Public Opinion survey commissioned by Symantec (Canada) Corp.

Conducted in November 2009, the survey asked a representative national sample of 1,000 adults across Canada to rate their trust in various industry sectors with their personal data during the holiday season.

Online retailers scored the lowest on the survey, with less than half of Canadians (47 per cent) trusting them to protect their personal information. The banking and financial industry were shown the most faith by consumers with three in four Canadians (76 per cent) trusting these types of organizations to protect their personal data such as name, phone number, credit card details and home address.

Surveys commissioned by Symantec in the UK and Germany earlier this year had similar results, with consumers on both sides of the Atlantic generally lacking confidence in how well online retailers protect their data. Overall, the Germans were least trusting, with results showing less faith in any industry sector than either the UK or Canada. Canadian consumers were generally more trusting than their European counterparts.

Wariness concerning personal data may be the result of the increasing number of data breaches in Canada over recent years. According to the Canadian Privacy Commissioner's 2008 Annual Report to Parliament, the number of reported private-sector data breaches doubled from 23 in 2006 to 48 in 2007. This number increased again in 2008 with 65 incidents.(1)

"There is a general concern among consumers about the safety of personal information," said Robert Hamilton, product marketing manager, Data Loss Prevention, Symantec Corp. "One of the ways businesses can earn back consumer confidence is by investing in the right technology and ensuring proper protocols are in place to prevent a data breach from occurring."

Survey Highlights:

  • When it comes to protecting personal information, trust levels across all industry sectors tend to be higher in Quebec

  • Women rate every industry sector as more trustworthy than do men when it comes to protecting personal data

  • Alberta is the only region in Canada where a majority of people generally trust online retailers

  • Younger Canadians (18-34) have significantly higher levels of trust in online retailers than any other age group

  • 35-54 year olds tend to be the most cynical when it comes to trusting industry sectors to protect personal information.

About Symantec Data Loss Prevention

Symantec delivers a unified platform to discover, monitor and protect confidential data. Symantec Data Loss Prevention gives organizations new confidence to demonstrate compliance while protecting their customers, brand, and intellectual property, including more than 30 per cent of the Fortune 100. Symantec's Data Loss Prevention solutions comprehensively protect confidential data across endpoint, network and storage systems. For more information about Symantec's Data Loss Prevention Solutions:

About Business Solutions from Symantec

Symantec helps organizations secure and manage their information-driven world with IT Compliance, discovery and retention management, data loss prevention, and messaging security solutions.

About Symantec
Symantec's Canadian operations are headquartered in Toronto with offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. For more information on Symantec products or current promotions, access Symantec's Canadian Web site at Symantec is an active member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at

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(1) Canadian Privacy Commissioner's Annual Report to Parliament 2008 -- Report on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2008)

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