CANADIANS EXPECT MARKETERS TO PROVIDE MORE USER-FRIENDLY PRIVACY POLICIES

Toronto, January 26, 2018 – As Canada marks its 10th annual Data Privacy Day this Sunday, Environics Analytics (EA), this country’s leading analytical and marketing services provider, believes this is an ideal time for all organizations to review their data governance practices. Strong privacy policies are expected by the public and benefit organizations too. Making it safe and easy for individuals to provide their information to marketers will result in better marketing—and improve people’s lives. And yet there is still more to do to ensure that data and analytics work being done by companies is based on the highest standards of data governance and that these practices are clear, accessible and transparent.

According to a recent survey conducted by Environics Research on behalf of the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA), two in five Canadians say they are not informed about data privacy laws and 57 percent say they are particularly concerned about how organizations store and use their personal information.

As an organization entrusted with handling private data, EA has put rigorous systems and processes in place to ensure the highest levels of data security. To ensure those policies are met, we conduct several audits throughout the year, including those required to meet Service Organization's Control (SOC) 1, SOC 2 and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act) compliance. And all of our data and analytics services are governed by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL).

EA believes having these safeguards in place is in everyone’s best interest. “Using information to properly target communications has enhanced the power of marketing, but this practice benefits consumers too,” says Jan Kestle, President and CEO of Environics Analytics. “Consumers don’t want organizations wasting their time by sending them irrelevant emails or other unwanted marketing materials. Good analytics is as much about the messages consumers don’t receive, as it is about the ones they do.”

While many organizations have taken steps to protect personal information, they need to do a better job of communicating those policies in a more user-friendly format. According to the CMA survey, only 15 percent of Canadians bother to read privacy policies in their entirety, while a quarter of consumers don’t read them at all. Most say the privacy policies are too long (62 percent) and are weighed down by legal terms (42 percent), while a third of respondents felt they had no other choice but to accept them. Organizations shouldn’t read this lack of attention to their policies as indifference on the part of Canadians. According to the survey, only 5 percent reported that they don’t care about the details of those policies. In addition to being an active voice within the CMA, EA is a member of the CMA’s Privacy and Data Advisory Committee.

“Canadians are increasingly focused on how organizations keep their personal information secure and how their information will be used. It’s possible to have best-in-class security systems to protect personal information, while developing clear, transparent privacy policies that Canadians are more likely to read,” says James Smith, EA’s Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer.

EA is helping other organizations embrace this philosophy. At EA we have some of the industry’s top experts in privacy and data management and we have made it our mission to share this knowledge with our clients. EA’s consulting team works with clients to help them strengthen their own data governance and develop transparent, easy-to-understand privacy policies. This work not only enhances the protection these organizations can offer Canadians, it also protects them from a privacy breach that can have a damaging and lasting effect on the organization.

Data Privacy Day is an international celebration observed annually on January 28. The National Cyber Security Alliance, which officially leads the Data Privacy Day campaign, explains that the event was developed to educate consumers on how they can own their online presence and show organizations how privacy is good for business. The first Data Privacy Day began in Canada and the United States in January 2008. The day is an extension of the Data Protection Day in Europe, which commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.

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About Environics Analytics

The premier marketing and analytical services company in Canada, Environics Analytics helps customers turn data and analytics into insight, strategy and results. EA offers the full range of analytical services—from data supplier to strategic consultancy—and provides over-the-counter reports, purpose-built software-as-a-service and a wide variety of modelling approaches. Its team of quantitative marketers, modellers and geographers are expert at helping organizations identify their business challenges, develop data-driven solutions and achieve success along every phase of their analytics journey. EA is a member of the Environics group, a unique alliance of companies dedicated to providing intelligent research, analytics and communications. To learn more about Environics Analytics, please visit environicsanalytics.com.