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Data Privacy Predictions for 2023

December 29, 2022

Prediction posts typically either list the obvious or are full of wild guesses. When it comes to cybersecurity and data privacy, we’re going to try to give you both the obvious and our wildest guesses. If nothing else, hopefully it will make us all think about the current state of privacy and security, and the direction that we’re headed. So, without further ado, here are our predictions for data privacy and 2023.

As we move into 2023, it is clear that privacy will continue to be a major concern for individuals and organizations around the world. With the increasing reliance on technology and the proliferation of digital data, there is a growing need for multi-layered privacy protections to ensure that personal and sensitive information is not misused, accessed in unauthorized ways, or exploited.

AI and Privacy

One major trend that will continue in 2023 is the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Look at the rise and varied use of ChatGPT to appreciate the explosion of AI happening as you read this. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize industries and upturn our daily lives in countless ways, but they also raise serious privacy concerns.

For example, AI algorithms are trained on large datasets. These datasets can include personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI). The training of these algorithms may result in the unauthorized disclosure of this information or violations of regulations and data use policies, all of which represent privacy violations.

To address these concerns, it is likely that we will see the development of new privacy-enhancing technologies specifically built for AI, such as federated learning and homomorphic encryption, which allow for the use of AI without compromising privacy. From a non-technical perspective, we will also see policies and procedures created to address the governance of AI-associated data. These policies and procedures will give much-needed clarity to developers and data owners.

Software Convergence

In 2023, we will start to see all the various privacy software categories start to converge and consolidate; this consolidation will take years but will start in 2023. The last several years have seen the explosion of audit automation tools such as Vanta and Drata. This is a new category in many ways, and we still have GRC platforms, audit firms, DLP platforms, and many other categories that fit under privacy. To avoid the complex and underutilized state of cybersecurity, privacy platforms will emerge to bring all of these categories under one umbrella. As platforms unify, privacy will be better placed to report and be a part of exec teams.

More Regulation

Another trend that is likely to continue in 2023 is the increasing regulation of data privacy. In recent years, we have seen the implementation of various privacy laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. It is likely that we will see the continued expansion and refinement of these laws and the introduction of new ones as governments around the world seek to protect the privacy of their citizens.

Privacy Experts and Teams

As privacy becomes a first-class citizen at enterprises large and small, the need for trained privacy experts will increase in 2023. We will see many more people getting privacy credentials like those from IAPP. Privacy teams will grow as companies lean on fractional or outsourced privacy professionals.

Personal Privacy Apps

In addition to regulation, we are likely to see the continued evolution of privacy-enhancing technologies and services, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and encrypted messaging apps, which help individuals and organizations protect their online communications and activities. These technologies are likely to become even more popular as people become more aware of the need to protect their privacy online.

Privacy Delegates

In addition to privacy apps and technologies, we will start to see the emergence, or at least the launch, of privacy delegates. These delegates will be tasked with monitoring and managing personal privacy settings and data. Delegates are likely to be a mix of technology and humans. Think of them as privacy concierges.

Why would people need a privacy concierge? It has become too difficult to keep up with who has your data, how the myriad of apps on your phone use your data, and understand and exercise privacy data rights (such as the right to be forgotten).

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As the use of technology and data continues to grow, it is clear that privacy will remain a major concern in 2023 and beyond. While there are challenges to be faced, it is important that we work to find solutions that allow for the responsible use of technology and data while also protecting the privacy of individuals.

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