August 21, 2023

TORONTO, ON - Despite the growing integration of AI platforms like ChatGPT into everyday life, many Canadian consumers remain skeptical about the use of artificial intelligence by businesses. A recent survey* conducted by Brand Aid Public Relations Inc. revealed significant consumer apprehension of the use of AI in financial, legal, transportation, and telecommunications services. In fact, the survey indicates that many of these consumers would switch providers if AI has access to their data.

The survey polled 600 Canadians across five different age groups. While over two-thirds of respondents understood the potential risks of AI related to privacy, security, misinformation, and bias, 40% of respondents were less confident that a business could reliably carry out its services if it uses ChatGPT. Additionally, 49% of respondents were less confident that a business could protect its customers’ information if AI had access to their data.

A striking 25% indicated they would switch their financial institution, investment brokerage, or insurance provider if AI with access to sensitive information was in use. An additional 48% said they would possibly switch.

Given high-profile incidents in recent years when sensitive data was compromised, involving brands like Desjardins, LifeLabs, Loblaws, and IKEA, it may be understandable that many Canadians are hesitant to trust businesses with their information. Many Canadians might not know that AI has been used in business applications long before the rise in popularity of platforms like ChatGPT. For example, security professionals regard AI as a potent tool for combating security breaches., able to efficiently detect cyber threats, identify vulnerabilities, and conduct real-time data analysis. 

The finance industry has been using AI since the 1980s. Email providers use AI to filter spam; Netflix uses AI to predict viewer preferences and Amazon has been employing AI for optimizing shipping logistics since 2018.

Despite the history and benefits of AI use in business, the survey's results demonstrate that if consumers believe that AI is being used to access personal information, they may seek out alternative service providers. This sentiment indicates a pressing need for businesses to prioritize transparency, education, and effective security measures in their use of AI technology, to maintain consumer trust and loyalty.

*A total of 600 Canadians responded to the survey on the Pollfish market survey platform in equal numbers across the following age cohorts: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 54+. The results presented here are weighted (stratified) to reflect Canada’s age and gender distribution. 

About Brand Aid Public Relations Inc. 
Brand Aid Public Relations Inc. is a full-service public relations and social media consultancy. We provide a range of services from media relations and social media strategy to content marketing and media monitoring. With expertise in executive communications, media training, and crisis management, we help amplify brand presence, steer public opinion, and contribute to client success.

For more information, please contact Bryan Tritt:; +1.647.367.6823.