Three Trends that will Shape the Future of Data Privacy

By Marc Fuentes | August 17, 2021

Among other lessons, 2020 taught us how vital preparation is to overcome inevitable disruptions.

According to Forrester Research, only 15% of survey respondents were digitally equipped to face disruptions brought on by COVID-19.

Businesses were left scrambling to accommodate fully remote workforces and had to find creative ways to meet customer expectations in a new normal. They also had to manage the influx of personally identifiable information (PII) shared through various digital experiences and secure it. However, meeting compliance regulations and data privacy expectations from consumers feels daunting to many leaders.
 
Companies must prepare to play a long game if they want to meet data privacy compliance regulations with agility.
 
Meeting regulations requires the right technology solution. A Content Intelligence platform will enable privacy leaders and their teams to meet global compliance requirements for scale, performance, and brand equity. Automation and trainable AI make it possible to quickly identify, redact, and remediate PII data compliance no matter the specifics.
Success over the long term also requires awareness of trends that may become obstacles if they are not considered and planned for today. Read on to learn about three data privacy trends that may thwart your PII compliance efforts.
 
1. Global Data Privacy Regulations are on the Rise
Thanks to the European Union’s GDPR privacy and security laws, receiving notifications about data cookies and agreeing to usage terms have become commonplace when going online.

According to Gartner, since GDPR’s introduction in 2018, more than 60 jurisdictions worldwide have enacted or proposed a privacy or data protection law.

This year, in the United States alone, privacy bills are being considered in at least 24 states and at the federal level. California approved the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) for 2023, which enhances the consumer protections and business obligations outlined in today’s California Consumer Rights Act (CCPA).
 
Gartner estimates that 57% of the U.S. population could be covered if proposed state privacy laws pass.
 
Outside the U.S., there are many pieces of legislation coming down the pike. India’s Personal Data Protection Bill applies to any business servicing Indian citizens regardless of where the companies are located. Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act is similarly extraterritorial in scope. China’s Personal Information Protection Law will be a middle ground between the EU’s explicit requirements for consumer consent and the U.S.’s current limited legal guidelines.
 
Gartner projects that 65% of the world’s population will have its personal information covered under a privacy regulation by 2023, up from just 10% today.
 
With this wave of new privacy laws coming into effect, companies will struggle to remediate PII against each one if they continue to rely on manual labour. Now more than ever, companies need an AI-driven solution that can quickly find PII in all its forms and redact, remediate, and protect it.
 
2. Consumer Are Sitting up and Taking Action
Notorious cyber attacks and large-scale data breaches, exposing the personal information of millions of people, have raised consumer concern with how and when their sensitive data is being captured and potentially misused. Consumers are becoming more aware of the breadth and depth of data being collected about them, including spending habits, IP addresses, login IDs, social media handles, and financial information.
According to Pew Research, 79% of Americans are very or somewhat concerned with how companies use consumer data.
People are not just exercising their right to know who is accessing their personal information; they are deleting and restricting the processing of PII data that businesses have stored about them. If customers don’t like what they see, they are taking action.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) reported that in 2020-2021 they received 36,609 new data protection complaints.
Enterprises that fail to maintain the trust of their consumers or earn that of prospective customers by jeopardizing PII security may drive them away for good. Cisco found that over 50% of consumers would switch companies based on how their data is collected and shared.
Research has also shown that by 2023, companies that capture and maintain the trust of their customers will experience a 30% boost in eCommerce profits compared to the competition.
Bottom line: securing sensitive PII has become a business imperative.
3.  Automation for the Win
Companies are expected to keep track of and understand the subtle differences between existing and new privacy laws when no two pieces of legislation look the same. However, only then can they figure out where the risk lies within their organizations. 
Moreover, as the world becomes more global—and companies do business with customers from other countries—the volume of data enterprises have to wade through is only going to expand. The best way to get ahead of data compliance is through the use of automation. 
A variety of automated data privacy and management solutions will help companies drastically reduce the amount of time they spend delivering on essential regulatory requirements that were previously done manually.

According to Gartner, companies worldwide will spend more than $8 billion by 2022 on privacy-driven compliance tools.

Automation and AI will enable employees to spend time on higher-value tasks like improving customer experiences. If businesses fail to adopt robust data privacy solutions, they risk fines, damage to their brand, and a loss of consumer trust.

At the Heart of the Privacy Matter
Meeting current and emerging regulations with agility depends upon recognizing and surfacing large volumes of PII quickly. However, this data is difficult to control because it can be buried in emails, Word documents, scanned images, or hundreds of other formats. Sensitive PII can also be stored in disparate systems across an organization. When a new regulation hits, companies have no idea where to find this unstructured data that may leave them and their customers vulnerable.
 
Adlib’s Contract Analytics platform provides a framework for companies to: 

  • Discover PII hidden in hundreds of file formats, siloed within different systems and departments, and turn it into searchable content without risking privacy.
  • Enrich sensitive data by categorizing and meta-tagging to look for differences in regulations and surface risky data for remediation.
  • Evolve PII data with a scalable and trainable model that allows companies to respond with agility to any new data privacy requirement in the future. 
Being proactive around risk identification and management will make it easier for CMOs to balance risk with market growth and to preserve their brand integrity.
 
The Final Verdict
To stop playing catch up with data privacy regulations that will only increase in the months and years to come, companies need to adopt an enterprise-wide, privacy-first ethos. Customers will grow even savvier and less tolerant of businesses that view privacy as an afterthought. With so much at stake, companies that invest today in technology solutions to boost their compliance initiatives are one step closer to growing their businesses without devaluing their customers. Adlib’s Content Intelligence Platform will enable leaders to meet any compliance requirements with confidence and agility while preserving their brands and consumer trust. Ultimately, preparing for the future is what drives the outcome.   
Data Privacy and PII Compliance

Don’t forget to share this post