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What Do Users Expect from Data Privacy?

The trust between consumers and companies that serve them seems to be declining. Many users claim they no longer feel comfortable online. One of the reasons for this discomfort is that people do not trust businesses to look after their data. According to the PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series survey, thousands oppose the practices companies employ. However, they feel like they have no or limited options for taking action. While it might seem overwhelming, there are certain steps you can take. Instead of tolerating the disagreeable terms, you can turn to more privacy-focused alternatives

Data Privacy: what is it?

Falling within the scope of data protection, data privacy implies information being appropriately handled in complete adherence to data protection regulations. Data privacy deals with the processes of data collection, management, storage, and third-party sharing.

Data privacy and data security comprise data protection where the output is protected data. However, there’s more to data privacy than just data being handled properly. It also involves what the public expects from data privacy, with the individual being the key figure.

Data privacy and its elements

Three elements constitute data privacy:

  • The individual’s right to be left undisturbed and in control of their data.
  • Adherence to data protection laws.
  • The procedure involved in the handling, sharing, collecting, and processing of personal data being proper.

Consumer expectations

Consumers seek control over their data while businesses do their bit to earn consumer trust.

  • A meager 27% of consumers are aware of what hardware/software tokens are.
  • 52% of consumers surveyed globally said that they wouldn’t mind switching to any other social media platform if it protected their data better.
  • 86% feel that businesses should take the initiative to protect consumer data as they know more than the consumers do.
  • Only 35% are aware of the concept of identity-theft monitoring.

Why is it important?

Data protection laws seek to give consumers greater control over the use and processing of personal data. The aim is to help consumers retain the reins over the use of their data, who uses it, and why it’s being used at all. In 2019 itself, 73% of the consumers opined that how much they trusted a company mattered more than it did a year back. That figure has surely risen. It’s reason enough for organizations to learn how to protect individual privacy preferences while processing personal data.

After the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, the importance of data privacy has only risen. The protection of personal data and emphasizing data privacy influences a business positively. It helps businesses gain a competitive edge by meeting the expectations of customers, improving their experience with the company while also enhancing investor appeal and brand image.

A VPN and data

With more and more businesses getting access to personal data, consumers are immensely concerned about data security. Incidents of data and identity theft are on the rise. How do you protect yourself? Installing a Virtual Private Network (a VPN app) on your device can boost your security greatly. It hides your online identity by preventing the tracking of your IP address. Thus, external entities will have fewer chances to trace your online behavior back to you. Additionally, online traffic encryption ensures that no one can snoop on your digital journey.

Businesses have to take the initiative

Consumers are apprehensive about how companies are using their data. Therefore, businesses should take the initiative of investing in data security and building consumer trust to boost their brand image. Consumers desire to have more companies they can trust. The businesses should therefore ensure strict compliance with privacy laws. Having a proper data security policy boosts consumer confidence greatly.

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