As we welcome the latest IT developments of 2024, it’s worth keeping pace with those shaping the future of our data privacy. Changes to the online space could affect the ways our information is stored, accessed, and communicated, creating new challenges for businesses.
Below, we break down the top predictions surrounding data privacy in 2024, and how your organization could best navigate them.
Evolving privacy regulations
According to Gartner, 75% of the global population’s personal data will be protected under new privacy regulations. This is largely thanks to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which provides a set of guidelines and security requirements for protecting the privacy of personal information. This legislation has also significantly influenced other nations to adopt similar frameworks.
Chief information security officers are expected to play a central part in these changes, helping orchestrate the integration of new privacy tools, policies, and practices into the broader organizational framework.
Enhanced privacy solutions
When it comes to new projects or initiatives, businesses are advised to consider privacy matters from the get-go. This is the principle of data protection by design and default, emphasizing how data privacy should be an inherent part of any development process.
To effectively adoptthis principle, companies should implement a data protection impact assessment (DPIA), a systematic process that evaluates the potential impact of a project on individuals’ privacy. By conducting a DPIA, businesses can identify and address privacy risks more proactively while keeping in line with their broader goals.
Addressing privacy risks in AI
Advancements in AI technologies have led to various operational benefits for businesses, including the ability to assess consumer demand, track employee activity, and develop intelligent products.
However, such widespread use could also lead to the potential misuse or leakage of personal data. Organizations should establish comprehensive frameworks to oversee the use of AI, ensuring that privacy considerations are integral to the development and deployment of AI solutions. AI governance programs are recommended to not only mitigate the risk of privacy breaches, but also help workers navigate these regulatory changes effectively.
The GDPR has also underscored the need for transparency in AI use, requiring marketers who use this technology to provide clear and simple explanations for how data is being used. For instance, if AI tools are used in recruitment processes or automated credit assessments, how these tools impact individuals’ personal data and organizations’ decision-making process must be communicated to the public.
Data localization as a key priority
Data localization involves storing and processing data within the borders of a country, ensuring that businesses comply with country-specific data privacy laws. At the same time, this practice also protects the data from potential attack sources outside of the region.
However, for organizations pursuing a multicountry business strategy, data localization poses challenges around conflicting privacy regulations. Businesses will have to adopt strategies that balance operational efficiency while also adhering to local privacy requirements. Cloud services may have aided in this, allowing easier access to data across countries, but this has also led to data processing in untrusted online environments, such as the public cloud. Companies will have to reconsider their localization strategies to mitigate any associated risks while still leveraging the benefits of cross-border data transmissions.
Empowering users in data privacy
Finally, there is now a growing demand for transparency in the way organizations handle user data. Users want to know how their information is used and shared, and businesses who provide clear and straightforward explanations about their data practices will build greater trust with their customers in the long term. Centralized privacy user experiences (UX) are becoming a more common practice for business websites and online services. These consolidate security and privacy settings such as cookies, access permissions, passwords, two-factor authentication, and profile information into a single self-service portal. This way, users have the convenient tools for taking control of their data privacy at their fingertips.
Hybrid work has also created new privacy challenges. Organizations are now tasked with monitoring data use in a way that respects individuals’ privacy, especially as more personal data is processed in various locations. Companies are advised to avoid monitoring data whenever possible unless there’s a clear reason to do so, such as gauging employee engagement and job satisfaction.
With data privacy constantly under threat, it’s more important than ever to have the right security measures in place. Our experts at predictiveIT offer comprehensive compliance and risk management solutions to help enhance your data privacy and protection. Improve customer trust and business resilience — inquire with our team today.