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Modern privacy legislation will touch everybody

Written by Petra Mlada on .

In 2020, 10% of the world’s population had its data covered under modern privacy regulations. Within only two years, by 2023, this number is expected to sextuple and reach 65%, according to Gartner. By 2024, more than 80% of organizations worldwide will face modern privacy and data protection requirements, which will resemble EU privacy regulations, also known as General Data Protection Regulations, the GDPR.

Many have thought that the rise of data privacy concerns is a mere trend and will pass with the emergence of the next big thing. Today, more than three years after the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, we see how data privacy has taken on new importance. The world changed, the consumers changed, and so the laws have to change, too.

According to a study made by KPMG, 55% of consumers surveyed globally said they had decided not to make purchases online due to privacy concerns. The line between convenient personalization and personal privacy is thinner than ever. Consumers are well aware that businesses collect, process, use, and sell information about them. Not only that, the population is swamped with books and articles that foster their privacy concerns. The official news website for Harvard University has been publishing articles such as On internet privacy, be very afraid, and Why your online data isn’t safe for years. It comes as no surprise that consumers worry about their privacy, cybersecurity, and questionable business practices.

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Consequently to consumer mistrust, within 2023, 65% of the world’s population will be covered by current privacy regulations. EU privacy regulations; the way the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protects EU consumers is only the beginning of transforming commerce, the global legal landscape. GDPR is becoming the standard to which governments around the world are trying to correspond. According to Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, the unprecedented rate of proposals for adopting modern privacy regulations in 2019 has only increased.

Furthermore, the number of complaints concerning data privacy received from consumers continues to grow. Regulators are spending more time and more money on ensuring all complaints get resolved, which ultimately increases the amount and frequency of fines. More detailed investigations and more severe actions are taking place, indicating that the privacy regulations and laws have not ceased to change—quite the opposite.

The reach of privacy laws and regulations is quickly expanding and is expected to grow further in the upcoming decade. Researchers anticipate that, within two years, an astonishing 5.1 billion people will be covered under privacy regulations. Such coverage will influence the operations of millions of businesses. By 2024, 8 out of 10 businesses will face modern data regulations, such as EU privacy regulations. Altogether, the privacy laws and regulations enhance in breadth and depth at an aggressive rate.

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Businesses have two choices; to adapt or to face losses and damaged reputation. With such options, it is hardly surprising that worldwide company expenses for compliance and privacy solutions will reach $8 billion through 2022, according to Garner Inc. Simply put, businesses worldwide will spend $8 billion on physical, legal advice, or online compliance solutions. Nevertheless, pouring millions of dollars into legal compliance has a way of coming back. By 2023, businesses that have built and nurtured trust with consumers will experience 30% more profits than their competitors from selling goods or services via the Internet—referring not only to e-commerce but to all types of businesses that use websites to promote and sell their products.

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Risk assessment managers will have to consider the evolving legal landscape and keep an eye on tech development in this area. It won’t be enough to know what is happening at the moment. The real value will come with planning for the future because most companies know that significant changes in data processing rarely take a day. Because legal compliance seems to be the last point on the business to-do list, privacy concerns and solutions might become the difference between customer success and failure in the long run.

By 2023, nearly 5.1 billion people will have the right to demand legal compliance from businesses. And chances are, these individuals include most of your customers. Scrutiny will come from consumers as well as regulators. The first step to successful compliance that builds trust is establishing fundamentals: writing a truthful and fully transparent privacy policy, including a cookie policy, and setting up a consent and preference management system. From personal experience, as consumers, you might have seen cookie-preference pop-ups and skimmed through privacy information on websites. While this might satisfy consumers, it won’t be enough for the authorities. The user experience is only one of the aspects of establishing tech support that supports privacy solutions. Keeping track of consent preferences and synchronizing channels is a part of privacy solutions that cannot be seen from the outside.

Furthermore, being legally compliant is an ongoing process and maintaining efforts is the second step of ensuring your business is legally compliant. The belief that writing a privacy policy is a one-time thing is a common misconception. Because the legal landscape is changing monthly, so must your business. Being informed and prepared is an essential advantage for any company. Whether it comes to B2C or B2B sales, providing accurate information can lead to a shorter sale cycle and a higher degree of loyalty. Consider a privacy center where you can manage consent and easily update your policies—which can now be found only rarely—will become a vital element in maintaining a transparent and trustworthy image in the upcoming years.

To summarize: the world is changing, customers are changing, governments are changing, and so must your business if it is to thrive. The GDPR is only the beginning of the privacy revolution. Within two years, most of the world will operate under modern privacy laws, and by 2024, 80% of companies worldwide will face these privacy laws. But instead of fearing change, companies that embrace it and become legally compliant can expect a higher degree of customer trust and 30% more revenue than their competitors. Overall, around $8 billion will be spent collectively by businesses for legal compliance, advice, and online solutions in 2022. So why not be ready, plan, and get started right now?

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