Data privacy grown from a best-practice to a full-blown necessity in the last few years. So much personal information is floating around the internet and on personal computers, networks, and more. Insurance providers have already started requiring businesses of any size to implement basic security practices like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), and they aren’t stopping there.

Most companies must comply with regulations such as HIPAA, PIPEDA, GDPR, or other industry or locality-based privacy rule. By end of 2024, 75% of the world’s population will have some form of personal data protection implemented for them. It will fall under one or more privacy regulations.

Insurance companies don’t care if you aren’t a gigantic enterprise, they still threaten to skyrocket your premiums if you don’t comply with their new requirements (assuming they are even willing to keep you as a client). Data privacy compliance should be at the top of your mind, and goes hand-in-hand with cybersecurity.

Between July of 2020 and July of 2021, GDPR violations rose by 113.5%. The number of associated fines outpaced that meteoric rise, increasing 124.9%. When it comes to HIPAA violations, each incident carries a penalty ranging from $100 to $25,000.

It’s important to prioritize data privacy and factor it into all your data collection processes. When a business collects, sends, or stores personally identifiable information (PII), it requires protection. This means putting adequate safeguards in place.

To stay on top of privacy compliance obligations, you also need to keep up with trends and new developments in the field. To help catch you up to speed, we’ve documented the top data privacy trends happening in 2023 that you need to be aware of.

What’s Happening in Data Privacy & Compliance?

AI Governance

Around 40% of privacy compliance technology needs artificial intelligence (AI) to function. AI has crept into many of the tools we use on a daily basis.

When you’re typing in a Word document, and text just springs up as a suggestion, that’s predictive AI in action, trying to predict what you’ll type next. When working in Photoshop, they have a tool for example which by the click of a button will transform a frowning face into a smiling one. Seeing it in action really make you feel like you’re living in the future, and this too is the work of AI.

So, it’s no surprise that AI is running many of the algorithms responsible for keeping your data protected. But what happens when there is a problem with the AI itself?

This is the question that AI governance works to address. This new trend in data privacy arose as a result of AI being so prevalent throughout the data journey these days.

Whenever AI is used in data protection functions, businesses need to make sure it is governed properly. This ensures that automated processes aren’t accidentally exposing sensitive data to the public, and many other missteps.

Consumer Privacy User Experience (UX)

Another trend over the last few months is the push to putting more privacy power into consumers’ hands. Privacy regulations now often require apps and websites provide transparency in how they use data. They need to tell people what data is being collected, how they’re doing it, and what they use it for. People also must be offered an “out” to get their data sovereignty back.

These needs have birthed consumer privacy UX. You can think of this as a centralized privacy portal; a place people can access any privacy-related settings in various apps. This gives better user visibility on how their data is being used, what happens with it, and what they can do to exert control over it.

Data Localization

A major debate arose when the social app TikTok became popular, centred around location. With ByteDance being a China-based company, many are 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 rest of the world. Even when data was promised to be stored and siloed in the US, it was found later on that engineers from ByteDance’s mainland China locations were still accessing the data. This, among other issues, will likely lead to TikTok being banned in the coming years, as it seems to be a rare bipartisan issue in the states.

Data localization is going to become more prevalent. Increasingly, businesses look at where their cloud data is being stored. The location a server resides governs the privacy rules and regulations that it operates under. Thus, companies and governments are now asking questions of cloud providers, like “Where is my data stored?” – Many want their data to be as close to home as possible, and legislation is increasingly mandating it as well.

Increased Scrutiny on Monitoring Remote Employees

The pandemic has forever changed the global workforce. Many companies now run completely remote, with no physical office or consistent meeting place. Others use a mix of remote and in-office staff. The astonishing increase in people working from home has led to data collection changes. Companies are ramping up their monitoring of employees working off-site, to regain visibility on what they’re up to at work.

The issue with this type of monitoring is that it opens up a can of worms, from a data privacy perspective. Organizations must ensure that they don’t encroach on their staff, their rights, or any other ethical boundaries. This is most pertinent when putting monitoring in place on employee devices.

From those who work remote, approximately 49% of them use their personal computers or other owned devices for work purposes. Companies will frequently put endpoint device monitoring in place for security reasons, and they need to ensure no personal data is gathered or backed up anywhere. That would be data owned by the employee, and not the company.

Privacy-Enhancing Computation (PEC)

Data privacy is a fairly new term and field in general. Using privacy-enhancing computation is another way AI is increasing cybersecurity. Using PEC as a built-in component of software and apps allows developers to provide value to clients. Developers can address privacy concerns by making data protection more automated.

Keep an eye out for PEC components in data analytics, when shopping for new business tools.

When Is the Last Time You Had Your Compliance Checked?

How are your data privacy protections doing? Are you risking a penalty currently, due to lax controls? Give us a call before it becomes an issue! We can help with a compliance checkup, and can tailor it to your insurance broker’s new policy compliance requirements.

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