What to expect from privacy in 2014

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7 January, 2014

2013 was a tumultuous year with regards to privacy. But what can we expect in 2014? Has the privacy debate reached its limit, or will it continue to be a heavily discussed topic? Considerati has made some predictions as to what we can expect from privacy in 2014.

1. Privacy maturity will become a key selling point in 2014. Data protection is more than just auditing and privacy compliance. Upcoming developments in 2014 will make increasingly clear that managing transparency, consumer care and adequate communication around data governance are key building blocks to maintain trust in your services.

2. Consumer trust in digital services will continue to be extremely important for an organization’s success. Digital trust is fundamental for online services to be successful. Privacy is an important aspect of that trust; consumers want to be certain that their personal data is in safe hands. Currently we are seeing that media hypes around data breaches can seriously disrupt organisations and cause people to vote with their feet.

3. European national governments will strengthen privacy and data protection regulation for businesses. Although the European General Data Protection Regulation has been delayed, Member State governments will implement aspects of the regulation in their national legislation or policies.

4. Privacy authorities will focus on enforcement in new technologies. Booming technologies like apps and mobile devices are high on the agenda of several European DPA’s. Expect more investigation and enforcement with regards to privacy compliance.

5. Mass-surveillance laws are under fire. The NSA revelations have led to fierce criticism on privacy violations by governments around the world. This debate will continue to put political and popular pressure on data protection regulations and compliance in 2014.

6. New privacy enhancing technologies will be introduced. While on one hand more and more data is collected, 2014 will be a year in which companies specialising in privacy enhancing technologies will emerge. Since citizens feel like their data aren’t safe anymore, they will look for new ways to make them safe.

7. The privacy debate will impact business development in many sectors. Increased privacy awareness will be a driver for innovation: where users demand services that respect their privacy, businesses develop new privacy increasing strategies. For example through the emergence of more local, secure cloud services, transparent privacy policies or increasing user control over personal data.

8. More legal issues around privacy emerge. Today, many legal questions of liability, consumer rights and compliance with data protection law regarding the use of new (mobile) technologies have not been explored yet. Increasing privacy awareness with consumers and the introduction of more and highly advanced new technology may well lead to legal clashes, such as lawsuits or appeals against decisions of a Data Protection Authority.

We expect privacy to stay high on the agenda of governments, citizens, businesses and organisations. Will you stay up to date in 2014?

Jonathan Toornstra

Legal Consultant

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