Are the Data Privacy Concerns Rising with Latest Tech Developments and Ad-driven Policies?

Data Privacy Concerns

This is a digital era where most of our daily activities are associated with utilizing digital devices and apps. Such apps are developed by companies to collect plenty of user’s personal and online browsing data to deliver customized services. With digitalization, we are not just witnessing new tech developments, but also the rapidly growing culture of ad-driven revenue policies. This implies that organizations track and collect our data and use it to provide personalized ads. For example, you browsed about new headphones, and later when you are using Facebook or Instagram, you will start seeing headphones-related ads. Since digital businesses are collecting a significant amount of our data, it has raised the data privacy issues greatly.

Today, six out of ten U.S. adults believe that it is not possible to carry out daily life without expecting companies or the government to collect data about them. The Pew Research survey of U.S. adults regarding data privacy concerns show:

  • 81% believe that they don’t have any kind of control regarding the data collected by companies. They even believe that the concerns regarding data collection by companies are more than compared to the benefits.
  • 79% are worried about the ways organizations are utilizing the collected data. They do not think that organizations will accept their mistake and acknowledge their responsibility when they witness data breach or misuse.
  • 75% do not feel that government will take any accountability action against organizations that misuse data.
  • 63% narrate that they have no or little understanding of the data privacy laws that are active presently for data privacy protection.

Data-based services/products are usually marketed with the viewpoint that they will bring advancements with cost and time benefits, but the majority of the users don’t like to blindly trust such services due to immense data collection in the background.

Data Privacy Importance in the Present Era

Data Privacy

The present era has become more concerned about data privacy because of the rapid awareness of how user personal data is collected, used, and sold to others. Tech giants like Google and Facebook have also seen trust issues by users due to their data gathering and management approaches. A recent example is global news regarding changes in WhatsApp privacy policy that triggered users to opt for other data privacy-centric apps, such as Telegram and Signal.

There are many apps you use daily that are capable to collect lots of your personal information. Such apps/devices include wearable devices, voice-activated devices, facial recognition, social media app, and many more. Our lives have become addicted to such data-driven apps/devices, and now with the amount of sensitive personal data we provide to such apps/devices daily, data privacy has become very important. That’s why, the world is debating more towards data transparency, more user control of data, strict data privacy laws, and encouragement of apps with better data privacy policies.

What issues do Organizations face to maintain Data Privacy?

From the consumer side, it is easy to demand top-notch data privacy measures from the service provider, but it is not that easy for organizations to ensure unbreakable measures. Organizations are flooded with digital data today, and the need for data analytics and deep learning for business decisions has triggered the importance of data. When organizations are collecting an unprecedented amount of data, ensuring data privacy has many challenges, as follow:

  • Cost of Data Privacy: Today there are 30% chances that an organization experience a data breach in just a period of two years. When an organization’s data is breached, it has to face severe financial and business loss. Therefore, ensuring rigid data privacy measures that guarantee user data protection from any kind of unintentional or victimized breaches is quite expensive. Also, the maintenance cost adds up to the expenses.

  • Rise of IoT Devices: IoT devices have grabbed the attention of almost all business sectors. Today, almost all organizations are somehow using IoT devices. Besides the benefits they are bringing, such devices are more vulnerable to security threats. The IT experts even prioritize IoT security over network security. But most organizations find it challenging to ensure top-notch IoT security, which makes such devices and data vulnerable to threats.

  • Skills Gap: With the rising data privacy issues, skilled professionals in effective data management and protection are much needed. Like chief IT officers and chief data officers, there is a need for data security scientists to effectively tackle the growing data concerns. But the present market is experiencing a significant skills gap. The available skillful experts intend to work with large enterprises instead of small and medium businesses.

  • Cyber-Attacks: The nightmare for organizations in the present time is the growing cyber-attacks. The more organizations spend on cybersecurity and data security, the more advanced cyber-attacks become. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has become even worse with U.S. FBI reporting a 300% rise in cybercrimes. So, even if organizations manage to protect users’ sensitive data, the chances of getting the victim of cyber-attacks always make them vulnerable to the data breach.

The above points narrate that despite any organization taking data privacy seriously, the number of challenges associated with it makes everything vulnerable. But this does not mean that organizations are innocent here. When a data-driven business opts for collecting users’ data, then no matter the situation, data privacy is a must to consider. That’s why the regulatory authorities across the world are setting up more strict data privacy regulations. Some of such regulations include

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (USA)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (EU)
  • Cyber Security Law (China)
  • Data Protection Act (UK)
  • And many more.

All such data privacy laws are meant to bring data transparency, control, and accountability. All those data-driven businesses working in those countries having strict data privacy laws have to bear high fines or jail time if they don’t comply with the regulations. It is another challenging requirement to meet for them, but eventually, end users will get the chance to have a more secure and peaceful experience.

Wrapping Up

Data privacy has been a concerning element for many years, but with the rapid digitalization of the world and more evolvement of data-driven apps, it has become a serious issue. Businesses have to start thinking to counteract this fear and encourage the practice of transparency and better security.

Liked what you read? Here’s what you’d love even more — Internet of Things: Providing Solutions to the Biggest Security Challenges

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