Saturday, June 21, 2014

CSEC not trusted by Canadians

A recent Forum Research poll examining Canadians' attitudes towards privacy indicates that CSEC is among the least-trusted institutions in the country—as far as protection of our private data goes.

According to the poll, only 8% of Canadians trust CSEC "a great deal", while another 31% trust the agency somewhat. By contrast, 29% do not trust the agency much, and 12% do not trust it "at all". The remaining 19% of respondants said they "don't know".

If these figures can be taken to mean that more than 80% of Canadians have actually heard of CSEC, then clearly the publicity storm of the last year has had a significant effect.

Trust in CSEC is greatest among Conservative supporters (47% trust CSEC a great deal or somewhat) and, surprisingly, Bloc Quebecois supporters (43%). The latter number suggests that CSEC has finally overcome the once-widespread (but unfounded) suspicion that the agency spies extensively on Quebecers. The trust numbers among supporters of the other parties are 41% for the Liberals, 39% for the NDP, 31% for the Greens, and 26% for all other parties.

Family doctors were the most trusted institution among the choices presented in the poll: 61% of Canadians trust their family doctors with their data a great deal, and another 30% trust them somewhat.

Even CSIS is more trusted than CSEC: 23% trust CSIS a great deal and 31% trust it somewhat.

Full details of the poll here.

The poll also reported on Canadians' attitudes towards Bill C-13, the so-called Cyberbullying Bill.

Further discussion:
Ben Makuch, "Canadians Don't Trust the Harper Government's New Cyberbullying Bill," Motherboard, 20 June 2014.


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