With 2020 being only a few days away, it is time for us to start preparing for what the next decade will bring, and there is no better way to prepare yourself than to learn what to expect in the coming year.
In terms of online privacy, there are quite a few trends that experts have been predicting for the next year.
Whether you are interested in keeping privacy on a personal or business level, some trends are expected to come and grow during the following year and well into the decade. It will all start in 2020.
Here are the six significant trends to look out for this coming year.
1. Employee training on data protection to grow
You may be thinking that the best way to secure business is to purchase the best privacy and security tech, but that is not entirely correct.
Proper security technology is indeed necessary, but training your employees to recognise and avoid threats is much more important. It's an area which is growing and we'll continue to see growth in through 2020.
From what we have seen in recent years, businesses are in much greater danger of losing data due to human error, than because of software failure.
This is why phishing is the leading cause of data loss and security breaches in the business world.
It is also the reason why employee training on data protection will finally start increasing in the coming decade, beginning with 2020 itself.
2. Boardroom discussions to begin focusing on privacy
The next year already has some privacy bills and laws scheduled to come, but even things like the US state of California's Consumer Privacy Act are only the beginning.
We expect that privacy will become a much bigger topic during board meetings, especially when executives realise its importance for the success of their corporations.
According to some, the easiest way to convince members of boardroom discussions of the importance of increased data is through numbers.
For example, they might not worry about the need to step up their firms' privacy efforts, but reminding them that the EU's GDPR set a high bar for penalties might do the trick.
Regardless of where you are in the world, privacy is going to be a topic for business.
Violations of privacy laws might end up costing firms 4% of their global revenue, while the US Attorney General is allowed to charge firms $7,500 per violation. That should get executives' attention rather quickly in 2020.
3. More US states to introduce data protection laws
As mentioned, the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) is about to arrive in 2020.
The EU's GDPR has inspired the Act, and it is set to create new obligations for all kinds of businesses in California. At the same time, it will give Californians more control over what happens to their data.
Now, since California is considered to be the world's fifth-largest economy, this move is bound to lead to other states following its lead.
Some states, such as Nevada and Maine have already started following in its footsteps, bringing smaller, but still significant, privacy laws.
2019 also brought similar privacy awareness in Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington. The trend is going to continue in 2020, and bring the US to the next level of data awareness, protection, and management.
As many countries look to the US for influence, we would expect to see other nations outside the US follow California's lead.
4. Federal data privacy law necessity to increase
Having state privacy laws created is encouraging, but as long as these laws are state-based, the US as a whole won't be adequately protected.
It also won't help protect citizens from outside the US.
Many believe that federal privacy laws are the only way to adequately protect the US, which is why the call for data protection laws on a national level will grow quite a bit louder in years to come, starting in 2020.
Of course, some federal privacy bills are already being discussed, including Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA), as well as the United States Consumer Data Privacy Act (CDPA).
Interestingly enough, the two bills have a lot in common, such as more transparent privacy policies, ‘affirmative express consent,' and alike.
However, they also have some significant differences, such as COPRA wanting to establish a new agency under the FTC, and CDPA wants to leave FTC directly in charge.
5. 3rd party risk management to remain a focus
Apart from employees untrained to recognise danger, a big reason for breaches is also reliance on 3rd parties.
This is what led to the creation of laws such as CCPA in the first place. The CCPA, as well as GDPR before it, require firms to become more transparent with what data they are collecting and sharing with third parties.
Also, they require firms to announce how the third parties themselves use this data.
Meanwhile, third parties will also have to become more transparent themselves, showing how they plan to protect the data they receive.
In cases that a third party is breached, the organisations sharing data with them will also be responsible for not watching over their vendors.
While the EU's GDPR and California's pending CCPA only cover their areas, they have an impact on any business or consumer that buys or operates to customers and clients in those areas.
6. A lack of privacy professionals
Finally, the following year is expected to see a big demand for privacy professionals.
Knowledgeable, experienced individuals who will become ‘Chief Privacy Officers,' ‘Data Protection Officers,' and alike. The search for people who would fill such positions in major firms has already grown by 77%.
However, some estimates say that there are not enough people with proper training and experience to accommodate the needs of every firm out there.
This shortage of data privacy professionals will very likely become a serious challenge in 2020, which is why the demand for privacy experts will surge quite a lot in the next few years.
You will also see a drive in education areas to fill the demand with dedicated University courses and other education providers aiming to plug the gap.
2020 is coming, and according to the growth of privacy and security dangers that was witnessed over the course of this decade, the same threats are likely to keep growing in the future, maybe even faster.
As technology continues to advance, so do those who would use it against businesses, institutions, and individuals to promote their personal gain.
This is why securing data through privacy laws will become a huge focus, and why new laws, privacy experts, and privacy tech will be the main topic for years to come.
While these problems took a while to be taken seriously, it is finally happening, and 2020 is the year you'll see big pushes in these areas.
What privacy trends do you expect in 2020? We would love to hear your thoughts so drop a comment below.