Data Privacy Day 2024: Experts Comment on “The End Of Privacy”

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It’s Data Privacy Day - but the end of privacy as we know it might be closer than you think. 

That’s according to some of the biggest industry leaders in the privacy space, who believe that advancements in AI, surveillance and data collection have rendered it almost impossible to maintain privacy. 

But data privacy is more than just cybersecurity. As the lives of billions of people now revolve around technology, data privacy has become a basic human right. The world has generated 64 zettabytes of data, and 90 per cent of this data was created in the last two years. 

Yet, year by year, thousands of companies across the enterprise landscape fail to collect, store, and manage people’s information in a way that adheres to modern data trends and regulations.

What is Data Privacy Day?

As legislation around data tighten around the world, this data mismanagement can result in hefty fines and leave a company’s reputation in tatters. 

Data Privacy Day serves to raise awareness and promote data privacy across the world by encouraging companies to manage and protect the data of their customers. 

Data Privacy Day falls on Sunday, January 28 and this year, we collected the opinions of experts who look at the current state of the way we collect and consume data - and how privacy will look in the next 12 months and beyond. 

Rick Hanson, President at Delinea, said: “The end of privacy as we know it might be closer than you think. The world is increasingly relying on more AI and machine learning technologies. This reliance could result in privacy becoming less and less of an option for individuals, as AI’s capabilities in surveillance and data processing become more sophisticated. 2023 marked a significant leap in the authenticity of deepfakes, blurring the lines between reality and digital fabrication, and that is not slowing down any time soon. Our digital identities, extending to digital versions of our DNA, can be replicated to create digital versions of ourselves, which can lead to questioning who actually owns the rights to our online personas.”

Sridhar Iyengar, MD for Zoho Europe, said: "Data Privacy Day is often focused around the consumer, but is equally important in the business world. According to a Zoho Digital Health Study, 36 per cent of UK businesses surveyed say that data privacy plays a critical role in the success of their business. However, only 42 per cent of respondents say they comply with all regulations and industry guidelines, so more education is needed on how businesses should operate to safeguard customer data and use it in the right way.”

Eric Schwake, Director of Cybersecurity Strategy at Salt Security, said: "Data Privacy Day allows organisations of all sizes to reflect on their critical data and assess ways to ensure its safety and security. Customers and internal stakeholders trust organisations with their data, but the digital transformation has exposed it to more significant threats. As APIs are now touching this data more than ever, it's essential to understand how they utilise it and promptly identify any potential risks. When considering data privacy, it's crucial to consider the people, processes, and policies involved and leverage tools like the Salt Security platform.”

Christine Bejerasco, CISO at WithSecure, said: “AI is unavoidable, even if we don't directly use it, the products and services that we use will still be using it. When it comes to new technologies, we are too focused on their new uses, rather than their potential for misuse– and we risk the same happening with AI. Threats have always followed technological trends – we’ve seen it with operating systems, internet communication protocols, and the internet of things. Only once we experience damage, do we take a step back and redesign. With the power of AI still being understood and continuing to develop, Data Privacy Day provides us an opportunity to take a number of steps so that we are proactive when it comes to data protection rather than reactive like in the past.”

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