Updated: May 19
It's been almost four years since GDPR went into effect. Since then, over two-thirds of countries have had privacy laws intact. With Covid-19 causing a surge in remote working, new data privacy issues have come to light.
Businesses are now forced to make data privacy a top priority with the increased demand from consumers. According to Legal Jobs, about 74% of internet users in the US are more concerned with their online privacy than they've ever been.
Recently, Cisco released its 2022 Data Privacy Benchmark Study covering key privacy issues and how they impact business. Here are a few of their most significant findings.
Customers Driving the Need for Data Privacy
Privacy has become a required priority for businesses. A whopping 90% percent of companies said customers wouldn't buy from them if their data were not secure. Furthermore, external privacy certifications, such as ISO 27701, were crucial for 91%.
Organizational management across the board has taken notice. 94% of organizations are reporting at least one privacy metric to their Board of Directors.
Privacy laws also help develop trust between businesses. While there is an added cost to new privacy regulations, most companies understand the value and are supportive overall. A shocking 83% believe privacy laws are beneficial instead of 3% who think they're detrimental.
The responsibility of privacy regulation is no longer the sole responsibility of legal teams and privacy professionals. Almost a third of security professionals claim data privacy as a primary responsibility.
Business Value: Budgets Higher and ROI Remain Strong
With the need for improved data privacy legislation due to the pandemic, privacy budgets are 13% higher than last year on average, rising to $2.7 million from $2.4 million. The benefits from privacy are also up this year from $2.9 million to $3.0 million.
This impact was seen primarily with small to mid-sized businesses. On average, organizations see 1.8x the return on their privacy investment. Some are seeing even higher returns. 32% report a 2x return on their privacy investments.
Not all are so fortunate. About 1 in 5 businesses are not even breaking even. An interesting correlation is how organizations view themselves regarding privacy.
Those who consider themselves more "privacy mature" see even higher returns to the tune of 1.97x, compared with 1.53 for the least privacy-mature organizations.
Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Businesses understand the importance of using data ethically and responsibly. Most have processes to ensure data privacy, such as automated decision making, which meets customer expectations.
Additionally, over 50% of consumers worry about how AI handles their data. They trust organizations less than utilize AI with automated decision-making. We'll need to keep an eye on one area as data privacy and AI evolves.
Cisco's research shows that organizations show data privacy as a valuable part of their business. Transparency is increasingly important to consumers, and organizations need responsible frameworks and governance over their use of personal data, with a close eye on AI.
To learn more, check out the Cisco 2022 Data Privacy Benchmark Study, Infographic, and our Principles for Responsible AI.