Bolt Image

58 Alarming Data Privacy Statistics Businesses Must See in 2022

Masha Komnenic CIPP/E, CIPM, CIPT, FIP

by Masha Komnenic CIPP/E, CIPM, CIPT, FIP

August 19, 2022

Alarming Data Privacy Stats Businesses Need to Know featured image

Over the past two decades, our society’s digital footprint has grown exponentially — quickly outpacing our cybersecurity and privacy infrastructure’s ability to keep up. 

Some see the loss of data privacy as a necessary evil to drive technological advancement. Others, however, are concerned and increasingly aware of the complexity of protecting data in an era of unprecedented connectivity.

81% of users say the potential risks they face from companies collecting data outweigh the benefits. (Pew Research Center)

As data privacy and security become increasingly important to professionals and businesses across all industries, stats and facts about data privacy facts are emerging to guide us in an era of untethered digital growth.

We have compiled the following data privacy statistics to illustrate why you must take all necessary steps to protect your customers’ data.

Table of Contents
  1. Statistics Showing Data Privacy Trends
  2. Business Related Data Privacy Stats
  3. Data Privacy and Cybercrime Statistics
  4. Data Privacy and Data Protection Legislation Statistics
  5. Summary

But Wait… What Is Data Privacy?

Simply put, data privacy is the ability of individuals to protect and control their personal information from companies that collect, use, share, or sell it.

Ideally, companies would only store data necessary for operations and only when users consent to the collection.

However — unsurprisingly — some companies have found that it’s more profitable to use your data for targeted advertising, which is why data privacy has become a much-discussed topic.

Key Findings

Here are the most interesting data privacy facts and stats you must see:

  • 62% of Americans don’t believe it’s possible to go through daily life without companies collecting data about them. (Pew Research Center)
  • 63% of Internet users believe most companies aren’t transparent about how their data is used, and 48% have stopped shopping with a company because of privacy concerns. (Tableau)
  • 33% of users have terminated relationships with companies over data. They left social media companies, ISPs, retailers, credit card providers, and banks or financial institutions. (Cisco)
  • A University of Maryland study quantified the near-constant rate of hacker attacks on computers with Internet access – and it is every 39 seconds. (University of Maryland)
  • More than 120 countries have already addressed international data protection laws in some form to provide better protection for their citizens and their data. (Thales)

The following data privacy stats showcase trends that should be shaping business and security priorities:

  • 92% of Americans are concerned about their privacy when using the Internet. (TrustArc)
  • Personal customer information (such as name, email, and password) is included in 44% of data breaches. (IBM)
  • 67% of Americans are unaware of their country’s privacy and data protection regulations. (LegalJobsIO)
  • 71% of Gen-Z users believe they wouldn’t fall for a phishing scam, even though only 44% know what “phishing” is. (Harris Poll)
  • 62% of Americans don’t believe it’s possible to go through daily life without companies collecting data about them. (Pew Research Center)
  • 76% of users believe companies must do more to protect their data online (Global Consumer State of Mind Report 2021)
  • Only 3% of Americans say they understand how current online privacy laws actually work in America. (Data Prot)
  • 58% of users said they would be willing to share data to avoid paying for online content. (Statista)

And yet…

  • Only 25% of users believe companies are responsible with their personal data. (Pew Research Center)
  • Only 15% believe companies use their personal data to improve their lives. (Pew Research Center)

These statistics show the impact data privacy has on corporate credibility and why companies must prioritize transparency when it comes to data if they want to gain and retain the trust of their customers:

  • 79% of Americans are concerned about how companies use their data. (Pew Research Center)
  • For 88% of users, their willingness to share personal data depends on how much they trust a company. (PwC)
  • 54% of users say it’s harder than ever for companies to earn their trust. (Salesforce)
  • 63% of users believe most companies are not transparent about how their data is used. (Tableau)
  • 75% of Americans believe there should be more regulations to protect their privacy from companies collecting consumer data without their consent or knowledge. (LegalJobsIO)
  • 60% of users say they would spend more money with a brand they trust to handle their personal data responsibly. (Global Consumer State of Mind Report 2021)
  • 84% of users are more loyal to companies with strong security controls. (Salesforce)
  • 46% of customers said they feel they have lost control of their own data. (Salesforce)
  • 53% of users would try to get their personal data back from a company if given the opportunity. (PwC)
  • 37% of users say that companies that are transparent about how they collect and use data and are more proactive in enforcing data privacy online reduce their concerns. (TrustArc)
  • 39% of users would likely turn away from a company that required them to provide highly personal information. (Akamai)
  • One in five users always or often reads a company’s privacy policy before agreeing to it. (Pew Research Center)
  • 48% of users have stopped buying from a company over privacy concerns. (Tableau)
  • 33% of users have terminated relationships with companies over data. They left social media companies, ISPs, retailers, credit card providers, and banks or financial institutions. (Cisco)
  • 81% of users say the potential risks they face from companies collecting data outweigh the benefits. (Pew Research Center)
  • 80.1% of users would have no problem sharing personal data directly with a brand to personalize marketing messages, but only 16.7% would agree to share this type of information through third parties. (Vision Critical)
  • Most companies see a very positive return on their privacy investment, and over 40% see benefits at least double their privacy spend. (Ledgeview Partners)

Data Privacy and Cybercrime Statistics

Cybersecurity incidents such as large data breaches are rising worldwide, and customer data and privacy discussions have never been more timely. Here are the numbers to prove it:

  • A study by the University of Maryland quantified the near-constant rate of hacking attacks on computers with Internet access – on average, every 39 seconds. (University of Maryland)
  • Data breach costs increased from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021, the highest average to date. (IBM)
  • Average costs were $1.07 million higher for breaches where remote work was a factor in the breach compared to breaches where remote work wasn’t a factor. (IBM)
  • The most common initial attack vector, compromised credentials, was responsible for the most breaches (20%) at an average cost of $4.37 million. (IBM)
  • 77% of IT professionals say they don’t have an enterprise-wide cybersecurity incident response plan. (IBM)
  • The average company has 534,465 files containing sensitive data. (Varonis)
  • 24% of Americans say their personal data is “very vulnerable” to compromise. Only 2% of Americans don’t believe their data is vulnerable to compromise. (Statista)
  • Concern that banking and financial data could be hacked or shared has always been at the top of users’ list of worries about their data, so 78% of users are most protective of their financial data. (Figaro Digital)
  • The global information security market is expected to reach $170.4 billion by 2022. (Gartner)
  • 27% of users who have been affected by an online security incident estimate that the incident ended up costing them $100 to $10,000 or more. (Secure Swiss Data)
  • 90% of Internet users are worried about their passwords being hacked. 46% are “very worried” about it, and 44% are “a little worried.” (Avast)
  • Young Internet users don’t use numeric passwords like “123456.” In fact, 76% of Gen-Z users use the two-step authentication method. (Harris Poll)
  • Nearly 33% of email and social media users were victims of at least one cyberattack in 201. More than half had personal data stolen. (LegalJobsIO)
  • 64% of Americans would blame the company, not the hacker, for the loss of personal data. (Skyflow)
  • In the first half of 2020 alone, 36 billion records were exposed through data breaches. (Flashpoint)
  • Older people tend to be more vulnerable to identity theft. The FTC reported that 35% of fraud complaints and 18.9% of identity theft complaints were filed by older people in 2017. (Experian)
  • 44% of Internet users have experienced some form of online harassment. Most of these victims are women: One in six report such experiences, compared to only one in 19 men. (LegalJobsIO)

Data Privacy and Data Protection Legislation Statistics

Since the GDPR came into force, it has triggered a domino effect. Many other countries have used it as a model to shape their own rules for handling personal data.

Take a look at some statistics related to various data privacy laws.

  • 69% of the world’s countries now have data protection and privacy legislation in place. (UN)
  • Another 10% have draft laws, 5% have no data, and 16% of countries have no data protection or privacy laws. (UN)
  • At least 20 countries (excluding EU member states) have enacted laws similar to the GDPR. These countries are located on every continent of the world. (Reed Smith)
  • 60% of people who know about data protection laws (like the GDPR) view them favorably (Cisco).
  • 47% of companies have updated their privacy policies to comply with the GDPR and other privacy laws. 80% have updated their privacy policies multiple times in the last year. (LegalJobsIO)
  • 62% of UK citizens feel safer sharing their data after the GDPR. (Persona)
  • It’s no surprise, then, that 66% of Americans want the U.S. to adopt privacy laws similar to the GDPR. (Persona)
  • 32% of U.S. companies now have a data protection officer, and 27% have spent more than half a million dollars to become GDPR compliant. (Persona)
  • 70% of risk and compliance professionals said the pandemic has increased their reliance on technology to improve decision making, performance monitoring and risk management. (Thomson Reuter)
  • Between January 2021 and January 2022, nearly €1.1 billion in fines were issued for a wide range of GDPR violations. This represents a 594% annual increase in fines. (DLA Piper)
  • 82% of companies consider privacy certifications such as ISO 27701 and Privacy Shield as a purchasing criterion when selecting a product or vendor in their supply chain. (Cisco)
  • 25% of users have inquired about the data companies have stored about them, and 17% have requested that the data be changed or deleted. (Cisco)
  • India had the highest percentage of respondents who inquired about their data (49%), followed by Mexico (37%) and Brazil (36%). (Cisco)
  • The highest GDPR fine to date was $877 million and was announced in July 2021. (Tessian)

Summary

More and more people are becoming aware of the risk of their personal data being accessible on the Internet and are taking greater care to ensure that their personal data does not fall into the wrong hands.

However, much remains to be done to curb the rising number of cyberattacks and data breaches. What are your thoughts on this? What methods could and should companies use to protect sensitive data? Share this article on social media and let us know!

Masha Komnenic CIPP/E, CIPM, CIPT, FIP
More about the author

Written by Masha Komnenic CIPP/E, CIPM, CIPT, FIP

Masha is an Information Security and Data Privacy Specialist and a Certified Data Protection Officer. She has been a Data Protection Officer for the past six years, helping small and medium-sized enterprises achieve legal compliance. She has also been a privacy compliance mentor to many international business accelerators. She specializes... More about the author

Related Articles

Explore more resources Explore more resources