EYE Views: 2019 will see data privacy and security go mainstream

In the last few days, Google has been fined of £44m for a lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding ads personalisation.

It’s fair to say that consumers have started to realize the extent to which their personal data is collected and used, and how, at the same time, their privacy is being compromised.

Regulation like the GDPR, initiated in Europe but applicable to any company that enacts digital business with European consumers, mandates strict rules around how personal data is collected and used.

Companies now need to build transparency into their practices and obtain informed consent from consumers into what they use their data for, but for many the privacy paradox – consumers forgoing privacy of personal data for convenience and short-term value – is the default position.

What will happen in 2019 to reassure consumers that their data is in safe hands?  What security improvements will we see?  We asked a selection of industry experts for their views.  Here’s what they said…


Chris Russell, CTO, iDENprotect

2019 will be the year when individuals will start taking data ownership seriously and begin to see the value in the data that in the past they have been willing to give away freely and for free.

As consumers we will start to pause to consider the actions we take. Should we accept the cookie policy, should we grant permission to use our data, should we accept the terms and conditions and why do you need to know my date of birth?

From this we may see the rise of services and sites that make a virtue about the fact that they are only interested in the data they actually need to complete the transaction and will not ask you where you heard about them, how old you are, your reason for purchase etc.

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Chris Baker, SVP and GM EMEA at Box

2018 saw data privacy hit the headlines as businesses and consumers alike were forced to navigate the implementation of GDPR. But it is far from over. 2019 will be the year that the rest of the world catches up to the legislative example set by Europe, as similar data regulations come to the fore.

Organisations must ensure they are compliant with regional data privacy regulations, and more GDPR-like policies will start to have an impact. This can present a headache when it comes to data management, especially if you’re operating internationally. However, customers will have trust in a business when they are given more control over how their data is used and processed. And customers can rest assured knowing that no matter where they are in the world, businesses must meet the highest bar possible when it comes to data security.

Starting with the USA, in 2019 we will see larger corporations opt-in to GDPR to support global business practices. At the same time, local data regulators will lift large sections of the EU legislative framework and implement these rules in their own countries. 2018 was the year of GDPR in Europe, and 2019 be the year of GDPR globally.

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Stephen Gailey, Solutions Architect at Exabeam

My prediction for next year is a real stretch: 2019 will be the year we see the first sign of government control over large Internet service companies.

Organisations such as Google and Facebook still don’t seem to understand what privacy means. And it seems likely that some pretty big fines will be handed out, but I think we will actually see some form of legislative control being put forward or even break-ups considered.

At the very least, I predict that at least one prominent CEO will have to step aside some time in the next year. Controversial I know, and I may be a year too early with this prediction but let’s see.

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Steve Stuut, CEO, Jumio 

What street did you grow up on? What’s your mother’s maiden name? If you’ve ever been asked one of these questions while logging into a website or resetting a password, you’ve been subject to a form of knowledge-based authentication (KBA), one of the main components for self-service password retrieval.

However, with news of data breaches happening daily (i.e. Marriott, Quora), the answers to those shared secrets that KBA relies on can be purchased with a few clicks and for as little as £3. The hackers behind these breaches presumably now possess a treasure trove of information about UK citizens for the sole purpose of exploitation. Fraudsters can therefore leverage this information to reset passwords and create new online accounts – or even takeover existing legitimate accounts.

With the security that KBA once provided slowly waning, in 2019, we’ll likely see a move away from this method to more sophisticated security measures that can spot fraudulent activity and detect suspicious activity.

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Jo Howes, Commercial Director at CREALOGIX

Currently, 14% of all UK bank customers have at least one mobile-only digital bank provider. In 2019, this trend will remain on its upward trajectory as mobile banking apps continue to disrupt the financial landscape and gain a greater share of the market.

Alongside this, we’ll see increased mobile cybersecurity sophistication and convenience. Native mobile security features such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition will be integrated into banking apps to provide stronger multifactor authentication, along with SMS alternatives such as PushTAN to receive banking transactional numbers securely.

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Ralf Gladis, CEO, Computop 

Biometrics will begin to have a serious impact on how people pay for goods using their mobiles as the technology for payments transactions continues to evolve and become faster and more reliable.

The accuracy of fingerprint or face scanning, for example, is being vastly improved with modern sensors, which makes it a lot easier for consumers to pay with a touch of their finger or scan of their face than to type out complex passwords on small screens. This is why we will increasingly see retailers facilitating the use of biometrics in mobile payment methods in 2019.

Another advantage of biometrics is that it is more secure than many other methods. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are already wise to this, and have started using fingerprint and face recognition. It won’t be long before eye and voice recognition are added to biometric payment options because they will always be more secure than user-names with passwords.

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