Data Privacy Trends To Follow for 2023

A boom in privacy-focused tech, coupled with new regulations coming into force, is likely to spell a shift toward greater transparency and safeguarding of personal data in the year ahead.

Astrid Gobardhan, Data Privacy Officer, VFS Global

January 26, 2023

4 Min Read
Online Privacy Intercepting Personal Data as a Concept
sleepyfellow via Alamy Stock

Economies and businesses are becoming increasingly prudent about managing data. Yet, despite these efforts, and the roll-out of national and -- in the case of the EU -- continent-wide steps to better regulate the safeguarding of data, security breaches remain commonplace.

According to an IBM and Ponemon Institute report, the average cost of a data breach reached a new high of US$4.35 million in 2022. The researchers arrived at this staggering number based on several cost factors, such as legal, regulatory, and technical activities, loss of brand equity, customer turnover, and drain on employee productivity. Although the true cost, beyond financial losses, is likely to be much higher, given that any breach or fine for non-compliance has the potential to erode stakeholder trust and inflict irreparable damage on an organization’s reputation.

Given the rise in cybercrimes, organizations need to employ a two-pronged strategy. First, however robust one’s security systems may be, it is imperative to keep them up to date, and in line with jurisdictional benchmarks. This requires those in positions of leadership to look ahead, predict the emergence of future cyberthreats, and embrace the wealth of new defensive capabilities that businesses can utilise in the immediate and longer term.

As we approach Data Privacy Day 2023, here are some industry trends to follow in the year ahead:

Rise of privacy-focused tech: As consumers become more concerned about their online privacy, there will be a surge in demand for technologies that prioritise privacy. This includes everything from secure messaging apps and browsers to virtual private networks (VPNs) and encrypted email services. It's important to note that while these tools can certainly help to protect your data, they're not a magic bullet. Organizations still need to be vigilant and take steps to secure their information.

Greater emphasis on privacy by design: In the past, privacy was invariably viewed as an afterthought in the development of new products and services. However, this is beginning to change. More and more companies are realising that building privacy into their products and services from their inception is not only the right thing to do, but it can be immensely rewarding, as a marketable asset. As a result, in 2023 its likely we'll see a shift toward a company-driven "privacy by design" approach, where organizations prioritise user privacy at every stage of the development process.

Increase in regulations: Governments around the world are taking notice of the need for national regulations on data safeguarding. Since the roll-out of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), across the EU, in 2018, there has been a steady rise in comparable global legislation. This trend, of regulation, is likely to continue, as more and more countries look to implement their data protection laws. The United States, for example, is currently considering passing a federal data privacy akin to the GDPR. Other countries such as Canada, Australia, Japan, and India have also introduced, or are in the process of introducing, new data privacy laws. This means that companies, themselves, must implement stricter data privacy policies and procedures in order to align with these regulations and to better protect the personal information of their customers.

Goodbye cookies: As first-party data becomes more significant and consumers become more conscious of their data, third-party cookies will soon become obsolete. Many companies and organizations are now looking to move toward a cookie less future by implementing new technologies and methods for tracking and targeting users. For example, some companies are exploring the use of browser fingerprints, which are unique identifiers that can be used to track a user without the use of cookies. Other companies are experimenting with the use of privacy-enhancing technologies to provide a more secure and private way of tracking users.

Greater transparency: The trend toward greater transparency in data privacy is driven by the increasing awareness of the importance of protecting personal information and the need for organizations to be more accountable for their data collection and use practices. In 2023, organizations will begin to be more transparent about their data practices by providing individuals with more control over their data. This includes giving individuals the ability to access, correct, or delete their personal information, and the ability to opt-out of certain types of data collection. This is a win-win for both consumers and businesses, as it helps to build trust and fosters a sense of transparency and accountability.


For more information on Data Privacy, check out InformationWeek’s Special Report

About the Author(s)

Astrid Gobardhan

Data Privacy Officer, VFS Global

Astrid Gobardhan is Data Privacy Officer at VFS Global, the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist, serving 67 sovereign governments worldwide. VFS Global has processed over 251 million applications since its inception in 2001.

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