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FileCloud 2022 Predictions: Privacy and Data Collection

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Privacy and Data Collection

By Venkat Ramasamy, COO of FileCloud

Issues around privacy and data collection, once the exclusive domains of tech experts and lawyers, became daily headlines in 2021. A growing number of people now understand in more detail how companies track and collect their personal information. In the coming year, they'll start to do something about it. Whether it's through individual changes in behavior or wide-ranging legislation, changes are on the way in how we interact with companies and how we manage our privacy online. Here are some of the trends to watch in 2022:

Edging Closer to a Federal Privacy Law

Some privacy laws exist in the United States to protect the collection and sharing of information: HIPAA for medical records, FRCA for credit records, COPPA for minors, and more. There's not an overarching law that covers the privacy of all types of data, however. That will likely begin to change in 2022. As headlines swirl about how companies including Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook), LinkedIn and YouTube gather and share your information to facilitate targeted advertising, states are taking matters into their own hands. California, Virginia and Colorado have consumer privacy laws on the books, and Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are considering proposals in committee. On the federal level, Senators Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee introduced the SAFE DATA Act this summer to hold businesses more accountable for their data practices. Greater awareness of online privacy from the general public has filtered up to our government representatives. The pressure will be greater than ever on tech companies to explain how and why they use our personal details for profit.

A Continued Rise in Ad Blockers Affects Website Sales and Metrics

In the United States, more than one in four people use ad blockers on their connected devices. That's up from around 16% in 2014 as people take steps to protect their privacy or just get away from having their online experience affected by annoying, persistent ads. Online businesses, however, are losing money (perhaps billions of dollars) on ads that are never seen. Companies that thrive on ad revenue and customer data could be losing around 27% of data about their website users. One effective measure is moving the tag used for Google Analytics from the webpage to the Google Tag Manager Server container. Not only will this result in faster pages, but users will also benefit from better security and compliance with laws like GDPR.

Our Trust is Broken. Is the Answer Regulation?

At one time, everyone loved Google's unofficial motto of "Don't Be Evil." By 2018, the company had quietly retired that phrase. Today, no one really believes that corporate tech giants have their best interests at heart. The trust we once placed in sites has been shattered as we learn more about what they do with the data they gather. Having lots of users and customers isn't the same as being noble and pure, and users have become savvier (and more paranoid) about their online activities. Most Americans think major technology companies should be regulated more than they are now, and 68% believe these firms have too much power and influence in the economy. That sends a clear signal to the White House and Congress that changes need to be made. Potential regulation could come in the form of added protection for children online, a repeal of Section 230 that gives companies immunity from liability for user's content, or even antitrust measure to limit anticompetitive conduct. Tech's big companies were given the opportunity to regulate themselves, and they failed us. Now it's time for the people to take control.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Venkat Ramasamy 

Venkat leads business strategy, partnerships and marketing functions at CodeLathe. He comes with over 15 years of experience as a Product Development Manager at Schlumberger and as a Product Manager at Garmin. Venkat holds a MBA from UT Austin and a Master of Science in Information Systems from Texas Tech University.

Published Monday, November 22, 2021 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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