March 2023


What actually happens to your data after you share it online?

(NC) From your email address to your postal code, companies regularly ask for your information. These details are needed for you to receive your order or get the service you requested. What’s more, information from your interactions can also be used to make better product recommendations, keep digital apps running smoothly or send you offers for people in your area.

While you agree to give your personal information in order to receive a product or service, by pooling the data of many other people (also called “aggregating”), organizations can learn from its patterns – and that can deliver positive outcomes for communities without impacting personal privacy.

Aggregated data can support academic research, improve accessibility of services like healthcare, and increase public safety by uncovering trends and patterns that can be used to make more informed decisions. Done properly, customers’ personal information remains safe because personal identifiers have been removed from the data that’s been shared.

“Trust in data practices is important to Canadians. According to a recent survey, three-quarters of Canadians agree that a company’s reputation for how it treats personal information and privacy influences the way they think about the company,” explains Pam Snively, chief data and trust officer at Telus. “These positive uses of data can only happen if a company earns your trust - and that can only happen when companies take a privacy-first approach to ensure data insights won’t compromise your privacy.”

Snively’s team has developed industry-leading standards for responsible data use that help Telus to maintain its commitments to privacy and safeguarding data.

How an organization shares and explains its privacy policy is an important indicator of its data practices. Look for key terms that show your details will be used responsibly and respectfully, like “commitment” and “trust.”

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