As social media platforms, virtual assistants, and engagement tracking tools continue to collect and refine our personal data, it’s only reasonable that we as consumers continue to evaluate how we think about data privacy. We’re reconciling nearly two decades of digital exposure with increased scrutiny on personal data privacy. We’re constantly balancing the value of our data against that of our privacy. Because of this, we are seeing a shift from apathy to advocacy. Now, we are working to shape the latest trends in how companies secure and store our data.
Advertisers are catching on to the value of zero and first party data and are beginning to favor it over third party cookies. First-party data is any user data that is provided directly by the user. It is considered more reliable than second and third party data that is filtered through many channels before reaching the advertiser. Zero party data is personal information that a customer intentionally and/or proactively shares with a brand.
With the appeal of first-party data on the rise, advertisers are becoming more interested in investing in direct partnerships with brands and businesses. This new push for better data and stronger business relations is addressing two crucial changes. The first is user relationships rooted in consent. Advertisers want consented first-party data. The second change is a more personalized and respectful brand experience. Armed with user first-party data, advertisers and brands can tailor a user’s experience directly to them. This means personalized ads, recommended articles and more.
With the value of first-party data on the rise, third-party cookies are becoming obsolete. Big Tech can collect first-party data with consent and bank it. With this data they can attract advertisers who are looking for a specific audience. Looking to the future, publishers, advertisers and Big Tech will have to change how they monetize their content and collect data. We can expect a push for consent driven data collection in order to tap into first-party data. With this comes absolving cookies for a more open and consent based data collection.
This trend will never fade. Time and time again, there is a major request for users to have primary control over their data. In 2022 expect to see a demand for reasonable data privacy practices from the public. Consumers are more likely to choose companies that are transparent and honest regarding their personal data collection and usage. Customers are wanting full access and control over their data. This includes having the option to delete, download, or view any personal data.
With the demand for data privacy increasing, the time that brands have to respond to privacy issues and data requests is decreasing. The timeliness of a brand’s response to a privacy request is crucial for business and public perception. For this reason, many brands are turning to tech to help them fill requests faster. Many brands and platforms are starting to use a centralized PrivacyOps platform with automations that help them fill users’ requests faster.
Since the launch of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, global governing bodies have either adopted or are considering legislation for more concrete personal data regulations. As of this writing, 33 states have introduced some sort of data privacy legislation, with California, Colorado, and Virginia signing those policies into law. Globally, 76% of countries have either drafted or enacted some sort of personal data privacy protections, including China, Russia, Brazil, and Australia.
Worldwide, governing bodies are acknowledging and acting on irresponsible data collection, storage, and application practices—with many following the seven core principles of data privacy as outlined by the EU. For everyday citizens, this represents a massive step towards our recognition as humans and not just data generators.
A significant motivator for those federal policies is an increased demand for corporate accountability from people like you and I. We’re beginning to recognize not only how companies collect our data but the value of that personal information and what we stand to gain from it. With that knowledge, we’ve made it clear that we expect more from the companies we support. We want clear data policies, we want only necessary information to be collected, and we want that data secured and safe from prying eyes.
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask. A key portion of the GDPR’s policies is the right for everyday people (or “data subjects”) to submit a “data subject request” — a written request for information about what data was collected, why that data was collected, how long that data will be stored for, and more. As more people gain interest in the collection and application of their data, data subject requests, and the complaints that come with them, are sure to rise. Under EU policy, citizens are encouraged to take civil action if collectors fail to address their complaint within three months of the original filing.
Like any good rule, policies only have value when they are enforced. Since the GDPR was established in 2018, companies under EU jurisdiction have paid roughly $300 million in fines violating data protection policies. In California, organizations can be fined $7,500 per intentional violation and $2,500 per unintentional violation. These governing bodies are firmly out of the transition stage and expect their local operations to cooperate or pay the price.
If the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that even the most reliable companies can be subject to cybersecurity attacks. While we tend to assume those breaches occur only thanks to phishing, poor password management, or other internal vulnerabilities, third-party partners are just as much of a liability, if not more. Even the most forward-thinking brands are only as valiant as the practices of their partners. Expect to see more and more organizations examine their extended partnerships under a more watchful eye as data privacy policies continue to evolve.
More limits and regulations mean fewer resources for marketers, developers, sales teams, and any other division reliant on data-driven customer insights. Simply put, many of the tools companies have relied on in recent years may be forced out of existence either through legislation or the court of public opinion. This shift will force data workers to revisit more traditional engagement and development processes to create a new era of audience identification strategies.
Despite GDPR policies, many companies outside of the EU have huge swaths of customer data just stored away collecting digital dust. Companies didn’t have a plan for their customer data; they just knew that they wanted as much of it as they could scavenge. As regulations continue to redefine what is and isn’t acceptable data practice, what brands do with these data graveyards is of great value for their customers. Not only are these wastelands significant financial burdens for companies to structure and maintain, but they’re a blatant target for bad actors looking to steal customer data.
Abiding by existing compliance standards is challenging enough on its own. The addition of growing public demand and evolving legislation creates new opportunities for privacy-based tools and services to better fit those expectations. From better encryption and anonymization services, to tools that help manage, sort, and refine existing data graveyards, the more pressure companies feel to treat their customer data with care and discretion, the more inclined they will be to develop these tools.
Specifically, there’s a very real opportunity for AI and automation across the entire data privatization market. Regardless of industry, organizations worldwide are expected to invest as much as $110 billion annually into AI by 2024. AI that automates compliance practices or automation tools that instantly anonymize customer data could remove the human element from data collection and potentially give organizations a new way to generate insights without violating personal privacy.
We spent 2020 redefining the work experience. Now that a return to the office feels more feasible, the challenge for many organizations becomes balancing the benefits and challenges of remote and onsite office environments. These hybrid policies create a new challenge when it comes to cybersecurity—suddenly, customer data is only as secure as your weakest off-site password. The days of the network perimeter are long gone, and now it’s up to data leaders to determine how they manage compliance and productivity without sacrificing privacy.
For many organizations, data science is still a relatively new field. Companies already struggle to find engineers and developers who are ready and eager to dive into data and understand its capabilities; finding privacy-oriented data professionals adds an entirely new layer of consideration and complication to those qualifications. Until organizations can fill those gaps, they’ll have to rely on new privacy-centric training practices for existing employees.
Organizational change starts at the top. Traditionally, Chief Information Security Officers and Chief Data Officers have managed the brand-wide approach to data procurement, storage, and application. These leaders should be at the head of new policies, procedures, and best practices to help guide their teams through this transition and establish a privacy-centric vision for their future.
In a world of algorithmic curation and clickbait headlines, digital literacy may be the single most valuable quality a citizen of the internet can possess. Disinformation, be it deep fakes or fake news, is driven by personal data. The insights we give our social media platforms get weaponized against us to trigger outrage and aggression. Any policy or practice pushing for data accountability is a prime target for disinformation because of the risk it poses for those that create it.
Privacy and personal data have reached a curious intersection. With growing regulations, awareness, and conversations defining the very nature of data and its ownership, it’s clear that the privacy landscape will likely look very different in the next three years than it did even three years ago. As these trends continue to shape that future, we believe every individual has the right to own, transfer, and monetize their data, no matter the outcome.
Privacy and personal data have reached a curious intersection. With growing regulations, awareness, and conversations defining the very nature of data and its ownership, it’s clear that the privacy landscape will likely look very different in the coming years. As these trends continue to shape that future, we believe every individual has the right to own, transfer, and monetize their data, no matter the outcome. Invisibly allows users to harness the power of data to access premium content without the paywalls. Discover, earn, and access quality content today with Invisibly.