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89 per cent of Canadians belong to a loyalty program, compared to 85 per cent globally.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

People are savvy customers. They understand that their personal information is valuable; and when they hand it over to companies, they are expecting it to be a transaction. In return, they want discounts, advertising offers they actually care about and rewards for their loyalty.

But many businesses are failing to reciprocate, according to a new report.

On Tuesday, Montreal-based Aimia Inc., which operates Aeroplan and other loyalty programs globally, will release its second-annual study measuring attitudes about companies' use of their personal data. The company surveyed more than 20,000 people in 11 countries.

Less than one in 10 of those surveyed in Canada actually felt they had received something of value in return for handing over information about themselves.

"I'm surprised marketers aren't delivering on their part of the bargain," Aimia's chief marketing officer, John Boynton, said in an interview. "Why would people give you their data? … There's an expectation. If all you're doing is collecting data and your marketing programs are the same, you're in trouble. And you may not get a second chance."


By the numbers


Canadians who belong to a loyalty program, compared to 85 per cent globally.


Global and Canadian survey respondents who want to know more about the information companies are collecting about them.


Canadians who said they want more control over what data companies hold about them.


Canadians who have closed accounts or subscriptions over concerns about how their personal information was being managed.


Canadians who are willing to share personal information with companies in exchange for "relevant offers and discounts," roughly the same as last year.


Canadians who actually feel they have received that kind of value in exchange for their data.


Canadians who are concerned that sharing their contact information/data will lead to them being targeted for irrelevant marketing campaigns.

Proportion of people surveyed who said they would be willing to share information with companies to receive personalized service, rewards, or relevant offers

Type of information




82 per cent

82 per cent


58 per cent

59 per cent

E-mail Address

83 per cent

81 per cent

Date of birth

75 per cent

68 per cent

Hobbies and interests

72 per cent

68 per cent

Mobile phone number

43 per cent

31 per cent

Web history (visited sites)

27 per cent

22 per cent

Online purchases

43 per cent

36 per cent

Household information

59 per cent

63 per cent

Income level

43 per cent

48 per cent


72 per cent

66 per cent


82 per cent

73 per cent

Information about my lifestyle

54 per cent

51 per cent

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