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Data privacy and security trends to look out for in 2022 Share via

Businesses worldwide are grappling with the existing and emerging data privacy and security regulations that bar organizations from irresponsibly collecting customer data for their benefit and exploiting the user’s right to privacy blatantly. According to Identity Theft Resource Centre, 2021 will be the record-breaking year for data breaches. Till the end of September 2021, 1,291 violations have already come into light as opposed to 1,108 breaches in 2020, the establishment said. With so much happening on this front, in 2022, consumers’ expectations from the brand they entrust their data with will be sky high, while many companies will also understand the fine line between data privacy and customer loyalty. Let us look at the most significant data privacy trends organizations will encounter in 2022.

More data privacy regulations will come into effect

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has sparked a bevy of countries to introduce some degree of data privacy legislation to protect online users’ interests. UNCTAD said that 128 out of 194 countries had legislation to secure data and privacy protection. In addition, the organization found out that 55 percent of nations in Asia and Africa have adopted such legislation to safeguard online shoppers from excessive data collection. Furthermore, experts believe that governing bodies across the globe will strengthen their data and privacy regulations in the coming years. Gartner says that by 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have their personal information covered under modern privacy regulations, up from 10% at the beginning of 2020. Hence, companies everywhere and in the MENA region should start streamlining their data collection processes to be compliant at all times.

Increased penalties are coming your way

As regulations become stricter and widespread, more and more companies have had to pay fines for violating them. Since GDPR came into force, companies operating under EU jurisdiction have paid more than $300 million in fines. In California, the maximum penalty for every unintentional violation is $2,500 while it is $7,500 for intentional violations. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has already issued more than 80 fines since the new regulation came into force in 2020. Since the pandemic, many companies have significantly increased their focus on the online channel to reach out to new shoppers. Therefore the risk of violating data privacy regulation has also increased manifold. To avoid getting caught on the wrong side of the law, companies should be aware of what they can and cannot do and seek expert help to understand the regulations.

Companies will invest more in data privacy automation technology

Organizations will increase their investments in automating the data privacy technologies that can respond to privacy requests, categorize data according to their sensitivity, and help companies be within the regulatory framework when so much action is happening in this space. Cisco’s 2021 Data Privacy Benchmark Study found that the privacy budgets of organizations doubled in 2020 to an average of $2.4 million. Many data security experts believe it is a continuous process, and the investment in beefing up privacy technologies will only increase with every year.

More organizations will hire Data Protection Officer

While most brands operating in the digital space are reeling under tight scrutiny through various government establishments of multiple countries and are at severe risk of being penalized if they fail to comply with the ever-evolving regulations, Gartner predicts that by the end of 2022, more than a million organizations will have appointed a privacy officer. These senior-level appointments will be majorly responsible for delivering compliance and customer satisfaction. This number hovered around a few thousand before the GDPR came into effect. Enterprises that have not hired a data protection officer or the privacy officer all this while because they were not subjected to privacy and security regulations will have to act on this front quickly. Organizations will also have to ensure that more employees learn about privacy risks and requirements.

Data graveyards will diminish

Companies across the globe have vast swaths of consumer data that they have never used and don’t even know what to do with it. They are stored in their systems without knowing when and why they have collected those data. Although this practice was prevalent earlier, it makes the establishment vulnerable to fines from GDPR and other regulators because the rules continue to evolve on what is and isn’t acceptable data practices. Keeping tons of data was also causing a financial drain on the company’s resources while risking data theft and exposing tons of customer data to the dark web. Hence, organizations will have to define the retention period of the data according to the data privacy laws and arrange for the removal of data accordingly.

The imposition of data security and privacy laws will also lead companies to become more transparent with their customers about how they handle their data, and consumers will become more forthright to question the corporates about their data usage. While the regulations have created a sticky wicket for organizations, privacy laws have generally been well-received worldwide, and businesses are prioritizing their operations to align with the changing times and respect the consumers’ right to privacy.

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