Canadians are getting fed up with giving away personal information for free online services

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      The surveillance economy is testing the limits of Canadians' patience.

      A new report by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority indicates that only 26 percent Canadians are willing to give away personal information in return for better video streaming services.

      Just 23 percent will disclose details about themselves to use social media services and only 15 percent will do this for access to Internet-connected devices such as baby monitors.

      One area where a majority of Canadians are prepared to divulge personal information is online banking services. But here, it's only 52 percent, whereas a majority won't do this for better products or services.

      “It’s clear from our report that Canadians are feeling the need to restore trust online," CIRA president Byron Holland said in a news release. "Right now, many Canadians worry that the dangers online outweigh the benefits—especially when it comes to privacy."

      The CIRA also stated that seven in 10 worry about potential cybersecurity risks from foreign-owned network technologies, including Huawei. And 74 percent have privacy or security worries linked to devices like Amazon's Alexa and Google's Home.

      The federal privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, does not have legal powers to issue fines to companies that don't comply with privacy legislation. But 82 percent of Canadians think that he should be able to do this.

      Just 17 percent of Canadians feel "very confident" that they can recognize fake news stories. Another 56 percent are "somewhat confident" they can do this.

      The results were obtained through a survey of 1,254 Canadian Internet users 18 years of age and older. It was conducted from January 8 to 20 and the sample reflected the overall population's gender, age, and region.

      The full report is available here.

      CIRA was created in December 1998 and two years later, it became the official .CA registry.

      Prior to that, .CA names were assigned and registered by volunteers headed by the former computing facilities manager at UBC, John Demco.