“I’m afraid people can see me through my webcam even though it’s off”. This is a quote from an unknown internet user. Due to similar concerns, online privacy has become one of the hottest topics across the world. Today, a lot of people are of the opinion that data is being misused by tech companies to their advantage.

This is why we are witnessing the entry of numerous stringent regulations in the current era of data privacy. Increasing pressure from governments, public activists, and new regulations are key points shaping online privacy trends today. 

In this article, we will explore some online privacy trends everyone should look out for. Let’s take a look at them. 

SEE ALSO: Increase in Data Protection Officer Jobs after GDPR Recently Introduced This Position

1. Increasing regulations


GDPR regulation in Europe

When GDPR was introduced, it marked the beginning of a new era of data and online privacy. Consumers and data subjects are pleased with GDPR as it has compelled governments to rethink and modify online privacy laws. 

With GDPR in place, the European Union (EU) has set an amazing example to the rest of the world by formulating a framework for organizations regarding how they collect and use personal data. 

Although we have a long way to go to fight online privacy breaches, it is a good start. The impact of GDPR on legislative systems in Europe cannot be overlooked. 

GDPR and its impact on email marketing have also become a hot topic among marketers. They are now crafting innovative strategies to avoid paying fines, build trust, and forge relationships. 


The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was completely effective in 2020. It is safe to say that CCPA has drawn inspiration from the GDPR, and gone on to become the first privacy law of a similar scale. 

CCPA has laid down new obligations for businesses operating in California. It has empowered them to have more control over their personal data. 

The evolving requirements and the growing need to protect personal data in a certain way can be seen in the new data protection initiatives. 

2. New privacy standards

Do you know what a data graveyard means? In recent years, it has become a buzzword to describe the current state of companies in terms of the quantity and quality of data stored on their servers. 

To be precise, a data graveyard refers to the vault of unused data that a lot of companies are collecting in large volumes. This is destabilizing database utilization and turning out to be a grave problem for companies. 

Although GDPR promotes data removal and retention, companies have not reached the desired levels of maturity with their privacy programs. 

In the coming years, we expect companies to generate awareness regarding how they are processing, storing, and managing data. This will pave the way for robust data governance and set new standards for data protection. 

3. The rise in number of data subject requests and complaints

GDPR, CCPA, and other data protection regulations have given consumers additional control over their data. Due to the rising data breaches across different industries, consumers are increasingly becoming more aware of how they share their personal data with companies. 

Customers are exercising their right to share, delete, update, and prevent the processing of personal data that is with businesses. This is why we are also seeing a considerable rise in data subject requests and complaints in 2021 – a trend that is expected to continue in 2022 as well. 

4. Awareness and growing fines

Although data protection laws are taking effect in different parts of the world, supervisory authorities have not been able to cope up with the same speed. Thus far, nearly €275 million in GDPR fines have been issued so far.

However, in the upcoming years, companies will face a tough time dodging supervisory authorities. We will also see super aggressive and protrusive behavior from them.

Executive-level management is finally understanding the consequences of GDPR fines, reputational damages, and privacy risks. 

5. Transparency

Companies have gradually identified the extent to which consumers value their data. This is why they should create an ecosystem that provides customers with proportional value in return for their data. As a result, we think companies should focus on making this exchange more transparent to forge stronger relationships and build trust. 

Customers are not looking away when it comes to how their data is being used and the type of data being collected. Moving forward, transparency will become very important for both B2B and B2C companies. 

Consumers are becoming more aware of their rights and the value of the data they share. In 2022, trust will see a shift from a “nice-to-add” insertion to a “must-have” addition. 

As customer attitudes toward transparency and data protection are gradually evolving, companies will be compelled to create awareness on these issues. 

6. Third-party risk management

There will be a considerable spotlight on third-party risk management, demands on suppliers, risk assessment, and more. GDPR has tightened the current obligations that mandate contractual protection with data processors. 

Now, companies cannot slack while vetting third-party parties they are doing business with. They will also have to protect themselves from threats from third-party partner evaluation and agreements. 

Today, a lot of compliance programs are focussing on third-party risks. 

7. Education and training

Personal information form

Due to the evolving state of data privacy and protection, companies should realize the importance of building trust with their customers. Imagine if you educate your customers about how you are collecting their personal data and where you are using it. 

This transparent exchange between your company and customers will help you build trust at the outset. In addition, there is a notable dearth of data privacy and cybersecurity experts worldwide. 

Hence, we are likely to see more programs and courses that will allow us to address the shortage of privacy experts. 

Wrapping it up

At present, we are treading through the infancy stage of data protection and privacy. Although there are new laws and regulations that are gradually taking effect, there is a lot of work to be done. 

Consumers and companies should form a symbiotic relationship and find new ways to make the process more transparent and trustworthy. We need to find ways to educate consumers and provide the best education to address the increasing demand for data privacy experts. 

SEE ALSO: Here’s how you can outsmart privacy-invading apps from snatching your data

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