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Thales Blog

Data Privacy: Why It Matters To The Rest Of Us

January 22, 2024

Chris Harris Chris Harris | Director of Pre-Sales – EMEA, Thales Cloud Protection & Licensing More About This Author >

It seems that there are no limits to the number of data breaches. Company size is not a determinant of victimization, nor is industry or sector. All are equally viable targets. Some of the events are newsworthy, while others stay below the public’s awareness or attention.

Most companies must grapple with difficult questions of how to recover from a breach; however, when the typical person hears about a data breach, they are often not concerned about the future of a particular company. What most people worry about is the data that the company stored about them and the potential personal impact this can have; data privacy is what matters to us.

To Trust Or Not To Trust

Data privacy remains as a key factor in our perception of whether or not to trust a company. In our upcoming 2024 Digital Trust Index report, we reveal which companies are most trusted with data. We also examined some of the factors that influence consumers’ decisions about trust. All of this coincides with Data Privacy Week, which commences on January 21st.

Data Privacy Week once again recognizes the importance that privacy plays in our digital lives. Organizations such as the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Council of Europe continue to work hard not only to raise awareness about data privacy, but to move legislators towards action to better protect how our data is collected, processed, and shared.

Too often, companies have made it very easy to share seemingly insignificant data, usually by offering an incentive, such as points towards a gift card or other enticements. To most people, the risk of scanning a shopping receipt into an app or answering a survey may seem harmless. We reason candidly that the data will only be used for insignificant advertising purposes. However, we also tacitly acknowledge that the data we provide is also useful for everything in our lives, from our location to our spending patterns and even our health.

Take Control Of Your Data

The Thales Trust Index report reveals some surprising results, one of which is how privacy influences multiple categories of a person’s choice to engage with and trust a company. This also emphasizes why observances like Data Privacy Week are so important. Both consumers and companies need to make privacy as much of a priority as any other security initiative.

Data Privacy will become even more important as Artificial Intelligence is used more frequently to correlate patterns from the collected resources. While there is much conflict about the data sources that are being used to train AI, this also emphasizes the need for better trust between consumers and companies.

How closely intertwined are data privacy and trust? From the consumer side, the two present a bit of a paradox, as we desire privacy, but we are also somewhat limited in our activities if we choose to opt out of sharing. From the corporate side, while every data breach announcement emphasizes that “we take your privacy seriously”, many lack the transparency that is needed to make us fully trust.

One of the best ways to celebrate Data Privacy Week is to learn more about how to make good choices about data sharing and to stay abreast of recent developments in privacy practices and legislation. Privacy matters to all of us.