Collecting data is a part of doing business. You need to collect data from your customers, employees, and service providers. Much of that data will be considered “personally identifiable information,” otherwise known as PII.

PII is what data privacy regulations are concerned about. From the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), data privacy standards are designed to protect the sensitive data of individuals.

By the end of 2024, 75% of the global population is expected to have personal data protected under at least one privacy regulation.

Businesses collecting that data need to abide by one or more data privacy standards. These standards include security controls to put in place (firewall, encryption, etc.), data breach reporting guidelines, and penalties for non-compliance.

Cybersecurity and compliance go hand in hand, and they also are evolving rapidly, just like the rest of the technology ecosystem. To stay ahead of the curve, it’s a good idea to keep abreast of upcoming trends.

What should you know about data privacy for 2023? Here are some of the trends to prepare for.

Increased Scrutiny of Remote Team Tracking

The way the office looks has changed a lot for many businesses post-pandemic. The term “hybrid office” has taken over the vernacular, and for many, it’s a compromise between working at home full time and at the office full time.

When employees work remotely, tracking tasks and other activities can be challenging. Are they using unauthorized cloud apps? Do they work the required number of hours?

In an attempt to answer these questions, some organizations have installed tracking applications that can track everything from app usage to keystrokes. Beware of an overreach in this area.

One of the data privacy trends being seen is the increased scrutiny of that type of tracking to ensure it doesn’t infringe on the rights of the individual. If you’re collecting any type of data that could be considered non-work related, you may want to revisit your approach.

AI Governance

We work with artificial intelligence every day, and often, we don’t even realize it. Companies like Microsoft, Google, and Adobe, have expanded app capabilities with the use of AI to improve productivity and convenience.

However, AI could go wrong. For example, what if data is leaked because it wasn’t in “the programming” to protect it properly? You can’t simply rely on algorithms to do the heavy lifting of data protection.

You should begin to see more software providers incorporating AI governance into their applications, so you know exactly where data is going and where an app may be sharing it.

Consumer Privacy Portals

One part of data privacy is the need to protect personally identifiable information that has been collected in the course of doing business. Another part is the need to be transparent about what is collected and to provide a way for the consumer to “opt-out” of certain types of data collection.

One common example is cookies. Most websites use cookies to track user interactions with a website or cloud platform. Due to data privacy rules, you should see a notice when you first visit a website about its cookie policies. This wasn’t the case a decade ago.

Consumer privacy portals (aka cental privacy UX) are something you should see more of this year. These portals give consumers one place to go to understand how a site is collecting and using their data, as well as privacy options to opt out of certain features.

It Matters What Country Hosts Your Data

When you sign up for any type of cloud platform (storage, productivity tool, accounting app, etc.), your data is stored on a very real server. That server is located somewhere in the world and connected to the internet.

For example, if you’re using a cloud storage service, you may just know that you can sign in and get instant access to your files. But you may not know exactly where those files are stored – including which country.

It’s becoming increasingly important for organizations to store their data as close to home as possible due to the difference in data protection regulations. For example, your data could be stored in China, even though you have a U.S. company because of the cloud provider you’re using.

Watch for the term “data localization” to pop up more frequently in the coming year. This will happen as organizations begin requiring that their data be stored on servers located in a specific country so it will be governed by data protection regulations that meet their compliance needs.

Have You Had a Compliance Checkup Recently?

ECN IT Solutions can help your Tucson or Southern Arizona business ensure you’re not caught unprepared when it comes to data privacy. Contact us today to schedule a compliance checkup. Call 520-355-7553 or reach out online.