DeleteMe releases its privacy predictions for 2022, based on developments seen in 2020/2021 as well as original research conducted for its 2021 PII Marketplace Report.
“A lot of things related to online privacy have changed in the last 2 years, and we see significant new developments coming in 2022 in areas like browser-tracking, digital identity, regulatory compliance, and how online PII gets exploited by both threat actors as well as industry,” said Rob Shavell, CEO at DeleteMe.
2020 and 2021 brought a lot of new privacy issues to the table. Millions of people shifting work and social lives online due to covid, consequently driving a boom in PII-driven consumer fraud and an explosion in cyberattacks on business. Tech platforms made significant changes to how they (at least superficially) address consumer privacy concerns, and the government explored new approaches for privacy regulation of big tech, driving rapid growth in legislation at the state level and internationally.
Privacy predictions for 2022
PII exploitation will continue to get more sophisticated. The company agrees with the Identity Theft Research Center’s idea about a shift from ‘identity theft’ to ‘identity fraud’; with the new concern being taking advantage of new ways to use PII – often in bulk – targeting institutions and systems rather than fleecing individuals; tho, that too will evolve.
“Digital ID,” both at the State and Federal level, will advance. It may be sold as a solution to online personal information risks in the absence of progress on comprehensive privacy legislation, but may simply concentrate identity-abuse risks. Digital driver’s licenses are already underway; ‘Health ID’s’ are being discussed at the federal level, and ‘identity wallets’ are starting to emerge as preferred methods of authentication.
The cookie is dead: Long live the (new) cookie. In 2021, a plurality of major browsers removed 3rd party cookie tracking (or are, like Chrome, planning to). But the AdTech industry is already developing new workarounds. And while major tech platforms like Facebook and Google will pat themselves on the back for their superficial, newfound sensitivity to consumer privacy, it will increasingly become clear we’re all still being tracked, just in new ways…. Which may incidentally lead to…
Global privacy control will be more widely adopted by consumers. Everyone is completely sick of website ‘cookies permissions’ and having to re-state your preferred tracking options repeatedly. The new technology will be integrated into all the largest browser platforms by the end of 2022, allowing people to ‘set and forget’ their privacy options, making online life easier for everyone.
There will be a boomlet in the consumer privacy-compliance industry. With laws like California’s CCPA/CPRA coming full online in the 2023, and many similar new laws popping up around the country, many companies will be scrambling at the last minute to ensure compliance, while also preparing longer term for potential structural changes, like new FTC rule-making which could upend some previously accepted (if dubious) data-use practices.
What we know won’t change: data breaches will continue to grow, consumer PII will still be a valuable commodity for both the tech industry and threat-actors, and weaknesses in the overly complex way we live our lives online will continue to pop up.