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Data Privacy Trends to Watch Out For in 2021

Blog >Data Privacy Trends to Watch Out For in 2021
Data Privacy Trends to Look Out For in 2021
| Farrah Gamboa | | Leave a Comment

Data privacy has become the expectation for every consumer across the globe, becoming more than a set of rules and regulations driven by compliance standards, but rather one of the primary pillars upon which customer loyalty and brand recognition stand upon.  A continuously-developing pandemic, a majority of people working from home, and new data privacy laws regularly – all indications that 2021 will be a huge year for data privacy.

COVID-19 Pandemic Leaves a Lasting Impression

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on data privacy and cybersecurity as a whole with the heightened focus on social distancing impacting both personal and professional aspects of life for most people.

  • More and more consumers are opting out of in-person shopping, relying heavily on the digital market place. Organizations will have everything to gain by ensuring the proper protection of PII in order to maintain customer loyalty.
  • More healthcare data is being collected than before, in many cases by organizations who never have previously collected this type of information. Organizations are collecting health data on both employees and consumers to support public health outcomes, causing a growing concern in how this data is being used. It will be extremely important for transparency in order to build and maintain an environment of trust. 
  • A largely remote workforce has caused companies to monitor their employees in new ways, pushing employee privacy concerns to the forefront.
  • The speed at which this pandemic hit us all has led to a rush for security professionals to enable a remote workforce, leaving potential security holes as well as unprepared employees. Ultimately, this will result in more frequent exploitation of home computers and networks, requiring organizations to invest heavily in security.

More Data Privacy Regulations

The number of data privacy regulations across the globe continues to increase year over year, with new regulations like India’s Personal Data Protection Bill which is in the pipeline after having been delayed in 2019. Similar privacy bills were considered in at least 30 states and Puerto Rico this year as well, all the while making a federal bill in the U.S. much more of a possibility. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have their personal information covered under modern privacy regulations, up from 10% today.

Organizations will need to continue to juggle more and more regulatory frameworks, and in these cases, will likely apply the most-strict framework beyond the specific jurisdiction where required. Ultimately, organizations will be forced to take a Privacy-by-Design approach, considering data privacy in every new project or application.

Consumer Privacy = Brand Loyalty

2020 has shown us that Data Privacy goes deeper than regulatory requirements. In the age of social media, amongst the tweets and TikToks, consumers are more aware of what applications could access and are now demanding privacy more than ever. With the growing and somewhat permanent work-from-home culture and the growth in the collection of health information, people are generally concerned with their privacy and expect organizations to take notice. Companies will benefit from making data privacy trends in 2021 a focus and providing their customers with transparency, and this will likely become the new norm in the post-COVID-19 socially distant world.

Automation

In order to manage the growing expectations of both compliance standards and consumer base, maintaining data privacy at scale is almost impossible without a plethora of co-existing technologies used to automate the key processes. Identifying the PII lurking in the depths of your unstructured data repositories has always been an issue, but now with the complexities introduced by remote work, this daunting task becomes even more difficult.

Organizations will evaluate their current tech stacks to deal with these permanent changes, investing further in their current security automation tools, as well as investigating and investing in new technologies and capabilities.

Jobs!

Data Security and Privacy jobs will be a #1 ask in 2021. With the long term changes brought on by the pandemic, along with new data privacy regulations on the docket, organizations are going to be faced with several security challenges, driving up the demand for talent.

The pandemic has provided several challenges to the workplace, forcing companies to quickly adapt. The rush to support a remote workforce has led many organizations to take a leap of faith into the cloud and new tools, and is continuously presenting new security challenges when having to support hybrid work-from-home environments.

Looking Forward

2020 has left a lot for organizations to deal with as it pertains to Data Privacy, and 2021 will add to that list. While this pandemic seems to be the “new normal”, Data Privacy is the new expectation. Organizations will have to juggle the complexities of what this past year has brought, while also preparing for the year ahead, meanwhile providing their customers and employees with the transparency that is being demanded.

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