Where did you get this rumor from - CR :-> ? I think the decisive Canon people are in Japan and a small circle of execs (like the CEO in a recent interview) and maybe some tech people, and I would be very surprised if any information from places like this would reach them - most likely they rely on their internal marketing studies and some direct feedback from cps professionals and beta testers.
How harmful would it be for them to pay a small team of photo nerds to surf the web all day and find out what buyers want?
(Heck, I'd do it for free if they let me try some prototypes every now and then.)
The data would not be simply useless, it would be misleading garbage.
Market research is a science. Canon has decades of hard data based on its sales figures. In addition, everyone who fills out a warranty card goes into a data base that Canon can mine for additional information. They scour competitors annual reports and sales figures, just as the competitors scour theirs.
The data is supplemented with surveys that adhere to strict standards to assure that they are polling a representative sample of customers. Those surveys are no doubt conducted on every continent to study trends in each region. They also likely use focus groups of key customer subsets to flesh out the data. They use field testers to try products out in the real world and give them feedback.
A basic rule of any polling is that you never, never use subjects that self-select. They are notoriously unreliable and not representative of the larger universe. Just one tiny example shows how fruitless it would be: there is zero ability to match up the data on this website with actual buying patterns. There is nothing that could assure Canon that the whining, trolling and fantasizing that goes on on internet forums has any relationship whatsoever to sales.
At most, they may employ robots to search the internet for key words and associations. The best you can hope for, is that if Canon finds a spike in the internet on some word string, like: "5DIII, Weak Focus, Low Light " they might investigate it further to see if there is a trend or problem developing.
But, it is crazy to think Canon or any other manufacturer is going to waste valuable resources trolling internet forums.