Understanding Canadians’ attitudes, utilization, perceptions and expectations around digital health privacy

Study Objectives

This study aims to update this public opinion research by further exploring Canadians’ attitudes, utilization, perceptions and experiences around digital health privacy in the context of COVID-19.

Specific objectives of the study are to assess:

  • Perceptions of personal privacy and privacy of personal health information (PHI) in digital health;
  • Awareness of oversight bodies (federal and provincial) and mechanisms and their role in protecting Canadians’ privacy rights in relation to personal health information;
  • Concerns and acceptability of secondary use of electronic health information for purposes such as research, public health surveillance, and analysis and management of the health system using identifiable and non-identifiable data;
  • Trust and mediators of comfort with respect to access, utilization and notification of uses of personal health information, including timely access to one’s own health information.


Leger - the largest Canadian-owned polling and marketing research firm – conducted this web survey with 2,010 Canadians over the age of 16, selected from LEO’s (Leger Opinion) representative panel via Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing technology (CAWI).

The LEO (Leger Opinion) panel is the largest Canadian panel with nearly 500,000 representative panelists from all regions of Canada. LEO was created by Leger based on a representative Canadian sample of Canadian citizens with Internet access. Leo's panelists were randomly selected (RDD), panelists from more hard-to-reach target groups were also added to the panel through targeted recruitment campaigns. The double-opt-in selection process, a model to detect fraud and the renewal of 25% of the panel each year ensures complete respondent quality.

The results presented in this study comply with the public opinion research standards and disclosure requirements of CRIC (the Canadian research and insights council) and the global ESOMAR network.

Interpretation of Data

Privacy: Note that all sample sizes shown throughout the report are unweighted. Data visualizations do not allow for filtering of data where sample sizes are smaller than 30 respondents to preserve respondent anonymity.

Rounding Error: The data presented have been rounded. As a result, totals may differ slightly from 100%