Top privacy trends in 2020: What you need to know

According to Forbes, data privacy will be the most important issue in this decade. With huge amounts of personal data available, unprecedented computer processing power and technology innovations ranging from AI/ML, IoT and 5G, the potential data opportunities and risks are massive.

And the economic and social consequences are more complex and significant than ever – ranging from Cambridge Analytica where millions of social media users’ personal data was harvested without consent for political advertising and the recent wave of bans on facial recognition technology to companies seizing privacy as a competitive differentiator as part of their corporate values and marketing campaigns. We are also seeing significant upside to personal data for socially beneficial purposes for disease prognosis, emergency evacuation, economic development and so much more.

Privacy is becoming a defining issue of this era – and we are having more conversations on the topic elevated to dinner tables, international trade talk tables, and Board tables.

In this article, our team highlights what we see as the top 5 privacy trends to look out for this year. Below is a sneak peak of one privacy trend. Read the full article by our very own @Cristina Onose here.

Enjoy and always interested to hear your thoughts and perspectives!

Regulation, Regulation, and more Regulation: Privacy Reforms, Enforcement, and Stronger Standards

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May 2018 and was the watershed moment for privacy around the world. Because of its implications to international trade and multijurisdictional company operations – which inevitably involves cross-border exchanges of personal data – we have seen a tidal wave of recent and expected updates to privacy laws around the world – California (CCPA, January 2020), Brazil (LGPD, August 2020), among so many others, including proposed changes to modernize PIPEDA, our own federal private sector privacy law in Canada.

According to the PwC 2019 Global Annual CEO Survey, 52% of Canadian CEOs do not believe governments are designing privacy regulations that both increase consumer trust and maintain business competitiveness. Lessons learned internationally tell us these regulations can increase attention and funding to bolstering company privacy programs. But it can also shift the focus to a pure compliance checklist and paper-based exercise that may not in fact help to move the needle enough to tangibly and practically embed privacy protections into technology or business processes.

We are at an exciting time to influence the direction privacy takes in Canada to get this right, and there is currently opportunity to grow. As privacy professionals we all have a role to play to help influence the public policy direction and, also, to upskill ourselves and our teams to better embed privacy into technology now and into the future.

Read on here for more top trends.

Privacy Practice LeaderJordan Prokopy is a Partner for PwC Canada and leads the National Privacy Practice. She has a passion for helping companies unlock data value and innovation while inspiring the customer trust and confidence needed to enable it. Contact Jordan directly or follow @PwC_Canada to learn more.