2022 is here, and it’s time for individuals and companies alike to reevaluate their data protection and privacy strategies. This year, we expect global data protection policies to change again. Be it on an institutional or a personal level, the way data protection and privacy is perceived will go through crucial developments.
Digital business owners’ data protection and privacy strategies can either make or break their companies. While sound policies can attract more customers and win their trust, poor ones will keep users away from using their products.
Given all that, data protection and privacy will have a direct bearing on the success of any enterprise not just in 2022 but throughout time.
2022 Data Protection and Privacy Trends
Here are the trends that will influence all aspects of data protection and privacy, be it cookie policies or regulatory guidelines.
1. More companies will offer privacy solutions.
History teaches us that whenever there’s a demand, supplies to meet that demand must emerge.
Data privacy is a growing need. Many people who were formerly unaware of data security now care about what they share and where they do so. To serve such demands, the privacy-as-a-service industry will grow rapidly in 2022.
Companies that provide privacy solutions will offer more tailored plans for individuals and enterprises. Regardless of type, cybersecurity or content featuring data breaches and other threats, privacy-as-a-service will cater to clients of different sizes and scales and varying requirements.
The primary reason behind this sector’s growth is heightened public awareness about privacy. Popular media played an important role there, making people see how big companies can collect their data without their consent. People have also become more aware of how their data is used for marketing or hooking them to specific products and services.
With the growth of privacy-as-a-service solutions, more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will be able to offer world-class security. And that will be mutually beneficial to buyers, sellers, and service providers.
2. Data privacy will become a priority for consumers.
The biggest data privacy trend, however, does not concern big tech firms or regulators. Instead, it will stem from the public. People will become more aware than ever about data, specifically what data privacy is and why it’s important.
As the chart above shows, more and more users have begun caring more about identity theft and fraud, password stealing, and more. All these are part and parcel of data protection and privacy.
This year, a few other concerns will join the list. Location tracking, for example, was a growing concern in 2021 with the launch of products like Apple AirTag. Many users are concerned that Apple may use the location data for other purposes, which could count as an invasion of the users’ privacy.
Many reasons behind this growing awareness exist. Popular media, undoubtedly, plays a huge role. The media appearances of figures like Edward Snowden and Tristan Harris have, for instance, sparked several public discussions surrounding data privacy. Everything from research papers to podcasts often cover data privacy issues, a phenomenon that we don’t expect to cease.
The growth of alternative data sharing models will be a direct result of this changing public perception of data privacy. As a result, we can expect new and better innovations in the sector.
Given all that, we can say that changing public perception will perhaps be the most important data protection trend in 2022.
3. The continued GDPR and CCPA implementation will affect daily lives.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) are two of the most well-known regulations that aim to protect consumers’ privacy rights.
Apart from seeing improvements and modifications in these existing acts, 2022 will see more governments coming up with regulations to protect their citizens’ privacy. Growing public awareness of privacy protection is, after all, directly related to governments ramping up regulations.
Governments can no longer afford to play a passive role in consumer data protection since it is now also a matter of national security. People will also vote for and support leaders who prioritize data security and privacy. And in the wake of massive and frequent data breaches, governments have no choice but to improve their data protection regulations.
As a result of tighter regulations and stricter compliance requirements, big tech companies will have to change their data protection policies so they won’t get into regulatory troubles.
Adhering to compliance requirements is already cost-intensive, and no company would want to add to that expenditure by paying fines and penalties.
Social media platforms, in particular, will bear the brunt of tightened regulations. They will have to work on resolving privacy complaints faster, apart from offering better privacy overall. In a nutshell, regulatory bodies will influence data privacy trends greatly in 2022.
4. A common authorization framework for different platforms will emerge.
Different types of websites and platforms deal with consumer data. When we talk about data privacy, social media platforms automatically come at the center of the discussion. But these platforms are not the only ones that store and use user data. From e-commerce websites to cloud storage providers, different types of services need user data to function better.
A common authorization framework would regulate privacy protection requirements for all platforms, not only social media. That would help deal with data breach risks from less popular platforms that can be equally dangerous for users. You see, not all platforms are created equal. It’s not surprising, therefore, for devices from larger companies (e.g., Apple) to be more secure than, say, smaller manufacturers. It doesn’t help that SMBs also often overlook data privacy.
The advantages of implementing a common data protection framework are plenty. It will make compliance simpler, user protection from different threats more effective, and challenges in addressing challenges easier to deal with. In 2022, the drive to build a data protection framework for all will be a key trend.
5. AI and ML will play a greater role in data privacy.
With the rise of automated processes in almost every sector, it’s no surprise that data security tools also use them. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is both a blessing and a threat when it comes to data privacy.
To keep the powers of AI in check, governments are already coming up with related regulations. These rules will ensure that AI does not show bias in dealing with data, especially when it has real-world implications for users.
On the bright side, AI and machine learning (ML) can ease the burden on business owners to protect user privacy.
2022 will see privacy tools use AI to detect threats and proactively prevent them. Identifying patterns with ML will make it easier for authorities to identify probable data breaches and take preventive measures.
Automation in privacy protection is still not as developed as that in other fields. We can expect to see significant progress in this sector in 2022 and beyond. As the technology matures, it will become more suitable for privacy and data protection. And if used correctly, automation will solve many of our present woes regarding privacy and security.
6. Data portability will become non-negotiable.
In 2022, a huge number of organizations will continue operating in the cloud or start doing so. Data portability will be a major area of focus for privacy protection.
Data portability refers to the ability to transfer datasets from one platform to another without modifying their contents. It is a major problem for companies that want to switch from one cloud service provider to another. They often wonder if none of their data would get left with the former provider. They also question if the transfer would result in system downtime. Another concern has to do with interoperability. Will their cloud-hosted services, systems, and applications still work as designed when they switch providers? Will they enjoy the same level of data protection and privacy?
That said, data portability will become a greater issue in 2022. The drive toward interoperability will also shape privacy policies and data protection frameworks. The fact is, data portability is still beset by many technical limitations. 2022 will thus see intensive work in these areas. But once the technical aspects are taken care of, it will only be a matter of time before data portability becomes the norm. And with the rise of Web 3.0, it will become easier and more feasible.
The relationship between data portability and privacy may not be direct but it’s very important to ensure a digital ecosystem where no single entity has absolute control over user data. As data portability improves, so will privacy protection and security.
The data protection and privacy trends in 2022 will focus on giving more power to consumers. Consumers, business owners, and governments will influence these trends and also bear their consequences. On the whole, we can expect policies and frameworks that minimize data breaches and protect general users.