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Before the internet was widespread, users had some control over what data they chose to put online.
Be it their name, date of birth, or other information.
Right now, only browsing the internet for five minutes generates enough data about you to give you targeted ads, emails, and more.
This large-scale consensual non-consensual data sharing is why I collected these thought-provoking data privacy statistics.
Top Data Privacy Stats
Here are the five most shocking data privacy statistics I found; read on to find more details on these.
- 81% of Americans have concerns about how companies use their data.
- 60% of Americans skip reading privacy policies and agree to them right away.
- 46% of SMBs claim to have implemented multi-factor authentication methods.
- In 2024, 75% of the global population will have their personal data covered under privacy regulations.
- 40% of adults globally have experienced a computer or mobile virus.
The Current State of Data Privacy
Due to growing data privacy concerns, users are opting for greater security of their data while companies are investing a fortune into protecting their data.
These two are not mutually exclusive. That is why excellent data security has become a selling point for a lot of companies.
At any rate, these statistics provide an outlook on the state of data privacy in 2024.
81% of Americans have concerns about how companies use their data. (Pew Research)
Furthermore, 71% of Americans are concerned and confused about how the government uses data collected from people.
This is also indicative of how both the government and private companies don’t make it explicitly clear how they use people’s data.
Only 45% of Gen Z consumers have concerns about their data privacy, the lowest among all groups. (PwC)
The study found that 48% of Millennials have concerns about their data privacy, 46% of Gen X, and 50% of baby boomers.
Globally, the study found that 47% of people were very or extremely concerned about their data privacy.
60% of Americans skip reading privacy policies and agree to them right away.
It’s safe to say that the average user doesn’t have the time or patience to go through a hundred pages of policies.
Instead, perhaps a better alternative is for organizations to provide a search option, preferably powered by AI that can answer direct queries from users.
90% of consumers consider online privacy important to them. (Surfshark)
Meanwhile, the same study also found that 32% of consumers consider quality services to be more important than privacy.
That means they’re willing to provide their data if it makes things convenient for them.
A prime example is how people tend to sign up to websites using their Google or social media accounts.
80% of consumers are willing to share data in exchange for offers and deals. (Sailthru)
The retail study also found that 53% of consumers already belong to at least one brand loyalty program.
It goes without saying that brand loyalty programs require consumers to share critical data like their full names, emails, phone numbers, and more.
71% of consumers believe that personalization matters.
That means 7 out of 10 consumers may share personal data in exchange for personalized experiences.
Furthermore, 71% of retailers think that they nail personalization in marketing. But only 34% of consumers agree that there’s actual personalization in marketing.
51% of organizations say that the majority of data they use is third-party data. (Statista)
Third-party data or cookies is the data collected by your browser and websites passively once you provide the appropriate permissions.
Even if you don’t, some data is always extracted. That being said, the Statista study also found that 10% of organizations have never used third-party data.
However, that can be chalked off to the fact that they simply didn’t require that data.
70% of organizations have trouble organizing data for analytics. (Aqfer)
Companies have so much data to sort through that they have a hard time extracting value.
They consider it too ‘time-consuming’ to sort it and use it for analysis.
That’s why 70% of companies have a hard time organizing data for effective marketing outreach.
34% of consumers don’t want cookies to track their activity after leaving a site.
Post-visit cookies help companies determine user behavior; for example, how serious is a customer about buying something?
Did they leave the site to go to a competitor site? Did they search for alternate prices?
Ironically, these cookies are what lead to you getting pop-ups of certain deals and offers.
52% of users believe that they can spend time online without submitting private data.
However, that is not exactly possible unless you use something like the Tor browser. Some level of data collection is always happening when you browse the web.
However, you do have control over your private data like your name, number, email, addresses, etc.
35% of organizations plan to implement stronger data governance and security controls over the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, 22% plan on modernizing their data architecture with new concepts. 20% will be integrating AI into their business processes.
13% will be enabling data self-service and data products.
According to Gartner, 65% of the world’s population has its personal data covered under modern privacy regulations. (Gartner)
That is up from 10% in 2020. More countries than ever are introducing modernized privacy laws, similar to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
47% of companies always use customer data when they have express consent.
32% of companies frequently use that data and 14% do so occasionally. The study also found that 43% of companies always vet third-party partners that they share their customer data with.
That means there’s a small set of companies that share customer data with unvetted third-party partners when they have consent from users.
Data Privacy Market Statistics
The data privacy market has been on the rise for the last two decades. But with every passing year, the amount of data produced increases at an exponential rate.
In 2023, the world created a total of 120 zettabytes of data. That’s 120 trillion gigabytes.
63% of users use antivirus software to ensure data privacy.
The study also found that 39% of users use ad blockers, 36% use password managers, and 20% use a free VPN.
12% of users don’t use anything.
The data privacy software market size was $2.76 billion in 2023.
The market will reach $30.31 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 40.9%.
Currently, North America dominates the data privacy software market with a 42.21% share.
The IT and Telecommunications sector accounts for 22.2% of the global data privacy software market.
The dominating industry is banking and finance, followed by IT & telecommunications, governments, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare.
How SMBs are Using Data Privacy
All businesses require data to effectively reach their consumers. But retail and online stores rely heavily on it.
The following statistics provide a brief overview of how these SMBs utilize that data.
32% of businesses believe that it’s critical to activate data in real-time for clients and consumers.
Real-time data access is important for companies because it allows them to personalize experiences and target more specific audiences.
This reduces the cost per acquisition, customer lifecycle costs, and conversion times.
50% of companies believe their operations and clients will be severely affected when cookies are banned.
Yes, Chrome will be removing third-party cookies entirely. In fact, beginning this year, they will turn off third-party cookies for 1% of users worldwide.
That has led to 7% of companies already switching to other sources of data following Google’s announcement.
46% of SMBs claim to have implemented multi-factor authentication methods.
That means more than half of all SMBs currently don’t use any type of MFA.
With customers becoming increasingly aware and concerned about data privacy, businesses need to start adopting secure data security methods.
That being said, the study also found that only 28% of SMBs that provide MFA currently require its use.
It stands to reason that most SMBs are not as well versed in what methods of security their specific organization requires.
Data Privacy Security Statistics
Data privacy naturally leads to data security concerns. Companies spend millions of dollars yearly on cybersecurity, but more often than not, it’s still not enough.
Some parts of the organization, some employees, or some apps with the wrong permissions can lead to massive data leaks.
The following stats help paint a picture of the state of cybersecurity today.
40% of adults globally have experienced a computer or mobile virus.
20% of adults globally have been a victim of a virus more than once. The study found that 41% of people have experienced a computer or mobile virus.
35% have been a victim of an SMS scam. 30% have been victims of a phishing scam – when someone creates a false login front to steal someone’s credentials.
70% of people globally report taking steps to protect their identity and online privacy.
30% of people reported having enabled multi-factor authentication. That being said, people usually resort to Google’s Authenticator, pooling all multi-factor authentication attempts in one place.
Moving on, the study also found that 28% of people have changed the default privacy settings on their devices.
25% of people disabled third-party cookies in their browsers. These actions require active knowledge of how to protect one’s privacy.
This means that more people than ever are taking active steps to protect their data privacy now.
The global average cost of a data breach was $4.45 million in 2023. (IBM)
That is a 15% increase over the last three years. However, organizations that use security automation and AI save approximately $1.76 million more than those that don’t.
91% of organizations currently have the capability or will in the next 12 months to scale up generative AI.
This will include data security applications.
Related reading: 25+ Shocking Data Breach Statistics
51% of organizations plan to increase security investments after a breach.
That includes everything from incident response to employee training, threat detection, response tools, planning, and testing.
33% of organizations believe that a lack of visibility into how data is accessed and shared is their biggest data security challenge.
Last year, 63% of organizations believed the same. Furthermore, 22% of organizations think too many data users are their biggest challenge while that number was at 41% last year.
Last but not least, 23% of organizations consider too much data as their biggest challenge, compared to 36% last year.
Data Privacy Recent Trends
While data privacy has become an important topic today, organizations and people have been taking measures for it for a while now.
However, here are a few recent trends to give you a better idea of where we stand today.
In 2024, 75% of the global population will have their personal data covered under privacy regulations. (Gartner)
Countries around the globe are rushing to develop data privacy regulations to smoothen the flow of data.
The GDPR is an excellent boilerplate for privacy regulation. Most established organizations today have dedicated privacy practices, according to Nader Henein, VP analyst at Gartner.
40% of organizations have had an AI privacy breach in the last year.
Out of those breaches, one in four breaches was malicious. An AI privacy breach can include any breach that occurs when the data is being handled by an AI.
Because most AI today is built into larger solutions, it’s hard to keep oversight.
This directly impacts data privacy.
77% of Americans don’t believe that social media executives will protect their data.
Americans don’t believe that social media executives will publicly acknowledge mistakes or take responsibility in cases of misused data.
Just like that, 71% of people believe the same of the government.
Data privacy regulations are starting to become commonplace and necessary, across the globe.
Governments and organizations alike are working toward providing better data security measures.
On the other hand, users are also becoming more data-conscious. Not only about their personal data but all data extracted.
Regardless of the efforts companies claim they put into data security, users are still skeptical about how their data is used and there is little trust in organizations and governments.
At any rate, we’re moving into a world where there’s way too much data and not enough analytics to make use of it.