In the past few months, Facebook’s privacy scandal and the implementation of the EU’s GDPR rocked the internet. With people being more aware of their safety online, what will our future on the internet be? In a world where the internet has become an integral part of our lifestyle, can we still call our lives private? Here are some predictions on what could be in store for the future of data privacy.


More laws on data privacy

After the EU’s GDPR made huge waves across the globe, another data privacy law could take effect this year: the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. It will be similar to the GDPR except that consumers will be the one to ask businesses on what data are collected from them and how these data are used. They can then choose to opt out from data collection and usage. If voted in November this year, the act will apply to all businesses collecting data from residents of California and using it for commercial purposes.

With data privacy and cybersecurity becoming a wider and more alarming issue, it will not be surprising if other countries or unions will also adapt and implement stricter online data policies in the future.


Increase in social media sites

With more and more people spending time on social media sites and businesses utilising the platform to market, more social media sites will definitely pop up in the future. The increase of social media sites means an increase of personal information being shared online as well. In addition, businesses will have more platforms to access and use data you may not want them to know.

Despite the growing numbers in sites and users, a recent survey conducted by digital agency Rad Campaign and analytics firm Lincoln Park Strategies revealed that three out of five Americans do not trust social media with protecting their online privacy. It will be interesting to see how social media will continue to shape our lifestyle in the future.


Privacy risks with smart devices

While smart gadgets do make our homes more ‘convenient’, these devices could pose for possible privacy risks. We all know that smart gadgets collect data, and when data is collected, there’s always a risk of a breach.

What kinds of personal information could be collected? That depends on the number and type of smart gadgets you use. A fully equipped smart home can know everything about you.


Huge amounts of data

We are at an age where masses of data are being collected every day. According to Data Never Sleeps 6.0, an annual data report by cloud-based operating system Domo, visual content, online streaming sites, tweets, and online transactions were the highlights of data gathered for the past year. The report also estimated that every person on earth will create 1.7MB of data per second by 2020.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the data collected is about our online presence, what we do and who we are. As we continue to digitalise our lives, how much more data will we produce in the future?


No real privacy

These predictions all suggest one thing: there is no real data privacy. Being connected online could mean your actions can be recorded somewhere. Even if we try to be anonymous, we are bound to leave some sort of digital footprint with how tech and data are being integrated into our lives.

While there may be efforts to reduce data leaks, they may not be enough with how complex data usage has become. It might be best to redefine privacy and apply new and specific guidelines.

 


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