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The Top 4 Data Privacy Trends You Need to Know

Did you catch our latest webinar, “The Top Data Privacy Trends to Watch for in 2022?”?

Privacy industry experts from TrustArc, LogMeIn, and Goodwin got together to discuss what they are seeing in the world of privacy law, and what you can expect to see more of in the year ahead.

Here are the top 4 upcoming data privacy trends you should know:

New Privacy Regulations to Come

In 2021 new privacy regulations were introduced around the world. There was a wave of activity in Brussels and new privacy laws were enacted in Brazil and China.

Next, all eyes are on India’s high-profile Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB). India is expected to be the next big player in the world of privacy law. This bill can potentially impact a huge portion of the world’s population.

Many privacy experts have also been closely watching the US and wondering if a sweeping federal bill will overrule much of the state-by-state legislation approach.

However, this may be less of a data privacy trend to watch. The experts aren’t holding their breath and think more state-level action in place of a federal bill is likely.

For example, as of February 2022, there are over 45 active bills proposed across the United States. Although they’re not all likely to pass, it is likely we will see more states adopt privacy laws similar to California and Colorado.

Privacy as a Strategic Priority

Experts also believe that the strategic importance of privacy functions will begin to come full circle.

When the role of the Chief Privacy Officer first rose to prominence in the late 1990s, it was not driven by regulatory mandates. Organizations recognized the importance of data and the complexities involved with managing it properly.

Early CPOs were filling a strategic role to help these companies integrate data into their business functions. Once regulations like GDPR and others came into play, the role became more about compliance.

Now, CPOs have to stay on top of the evolving set of laws and regulations that are being introduced at lightning speed.

Next year, privacy will become more of a strategic priority again. Companies will focus on integrating baseline privacy compliance factors into operations and product development.

The privacy team will begin to work more hand-in-hand with business units to help every department — from marketing to product development — achieve their goals.

The Changing Role of Privacy Professionals

As privacy becomes a strategic priority the role of privacy professionals will naturally evolve as well.

Privacy professionals will begin to think more like product developers, with a roadmap of privacy priorities that guide their efforts throughout the year.

Whereas in the past, privacy teams sometimes took a band-aid approach to complying with new legislation as it was introduced.

Now they’ll look more holistically at broader trends in data privacy legislation and execute continuous iterative improvements to privacy programs to meet the needs of multiple laws at once. 

Privacy and Emerging Technologies

It’s no surprise that technology evolves at a rapid pace. Expect to see new regulations being introduced to cover emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).

The most technologically advanced companies are still sorting out exactly how to define and use AI within their business.

At this stage, it’s unclear what path regulators will take to reign in the technology — or the applications of the technology.

To date, draft legislation in Europe has taken a product safety approach.

Whereas some of the state laws in the US focus on automated decision making and a federal initiative from the White House focuses on bias, discrimination, equity, and fairness.

AI regulation is opening up a host of new data privacy trends that regulators around the world are contemplating.

Expect more developments around privacy and AI this year and for years to come.

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