Data privacy has been a growing requirement ever since the internet age began. So much personal information is flying around through computer networks. Protecting it has become a mandate.
Most companies must follow HIPAA, GDPR, or another industry or locality-based privacy rule. By the end of 2024, 75% of the world’s population will have their personal data protected. It will fall under one or more privacy regulations.
We here at Firewell Technology Solutions believe that you don’t need to be a large enterprise organization to have data privacy compliance at the top of your mind. It goes hand in hand with cybersecurity. Additionally, privacy requirements hit all sized companies. Even the smallest financial service providers are required by law to have a Written Information Security Plan (WISP) in place, for example. Did you know that Firewell Technology Solutions can help you draft and implement a Written Information Security Plan (WISP)? It’s true!
Between July 2020 and July 2021, GDPR violations rose by 113.5%. The number of associated fines also jumped, by 124.92%. When it comes to HIPAA violations, each incident can carry a penalty between $100 to $25,000.
It’s important to make data privacy a priority and factor it into all your data collection processes. When companies collect, send, or store personally identifiable information (PII) it needs protection. This means putting adequate safeguards in place.
To stay on top of your privacy compliance obligations, you should also keep up with trends in this area. Next up, we’ve documented the biggest data privacy trends happening in 2023 that you should be aware of.
What’s Happening in Data Privacy Compliance?
Approximately 40% of privacy compliance technology needs artificial intelligence (AI) to operate. AI has certainly made its way into many of the applications we use on a daily basis.
When you’re typing in MS Word and text just springs up as a suggestion, that’s AI predicting what you’ll type next. When working on a photograph in Photoshop, you can now click a button to give a frowning face a smile. This is also the work of AI.
So, it’s no surprise that AI is running many of the algorithms responsible for keeping data protected. But what happens when there is a problem with the AI?
This is the question that AI governance is working to address. This is a new trend in data privacy because AI has never been so prevalent throughout the data journey as it is now.
Whenever AI is used in the data protection area, organizations need to govern it properly. This helps ensure that automated processes aren’t accidentally exposing sensitive data.
Consumer Privacy UX
A trend that we’ve seen over the last several months is putting more privacy power into the consumer’s hands. Many privacy regulations require that apps and websites provide data transparency. They need to tell people what data they’re collecting, how they’re collecting it, and what they do with it. People also need an “out” to get their data back.
These needs have led to consumer privacy UX becoming a “thing.” You can think of this as a centralized privacy portal. A place people can access privacy-related settings in various apps. This gives better visibility into how their data is being used.
Increased Scrutiny of Remote Employee Monitoring
The pandemic has forever changed the global workforce. Many organizations are now running completely remote offices. Or may be using a mix of remote and in-office staff. The dramatic increase in people working from home has led to data collection changes. Companies are ramping up their monitoring of those employees working off-site.
But this type of monitoring opens a can of worms when it comes to data privacy. Organizations need to ensure that they aren’t encroaching on the rights of their staff. This is most pertinent when putting monitoring in place on employee devices.
For example, approximately 49% of remote employees use their personal computers for work. Companies often put endpoint device monitoring in place for security reasons. They need to ensure they are not gathering or backing up any personal data. That would be data owned by the employee and not the company.
One of the concerns when the social app TikTok became popular relates to location. With the firm being a China-based company, people worried about the privacy of their data. The data was originally stored on servers governed by the Chinese government. A country with very different data privacy rules than the US and other countries.
Data localization is going to become more prevalent. Increasingly organizations look at where their cloud data is being stored. Where a server resides governs the privacy rules and regulations that it may fall under. Thus, companies and governments are now asking a question of cloud providers. This is, “Where is my data stored?” Many want their data to be as close to home as possible.
Privacy-Enhancing Computation (PEC)
Data privacy by design is a fairly new term. Using privacy-enhancing computation is a way that AI is helping cybersecurity. By using PEC as a built-in component of software and apps, developers provide value to clients. They address privacy concerns by making data protection more automated.
Look for PEC components in data analytics when shopping for business tools.
When Is the Last Time You Had a Compliance Check?
How are your data privacy protections? Are you risking a penalty due to lax controls? Give Firewell Technology Solutions a call! We can help with a compliance checkup and help you draft a Written Information Security Plan (WISP) to help implement and maintain compliance standards for your team!
This Article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.