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79 Eye Opening Data Privacy Statistics for 2024 (Updated!)

Osman Husain 2/7/24 1:15 PM
data privacy statistics

Table of Contents

We interact with dozens of websites and internet companies daily, so it's normal to feel uneasy about our data and how it's processed. Whether it's personal information, or data from work & school, there's lots of concern about what might happen if it falls into the wrong hands.

These pressures have increased as technology has continued its advance. In 2024, data privacy looks much different than it used to, and the landscape continues to change. Forces like artificial intelligence (AI) and an increasingly interconnected business world are placing new pressures on data compliance that many companies struggle to keep up with. 

Below, we’ve collected some of the top data privacy statistics worth knowing to highlight the impact of data privacy on both businesses and users. We’ve updated this list with fresh data from 2024 and recent years to paint a picture of today's data privacy landscape.


Top Data Privacy Statistics

Data collection and digital footprints continue to expand throughout 2024, and it’s essential to stay informed and proactive in protecting clients’ most valuable asset - personal information. These updated statistics serve as a stark reminder of the crucial need for robust data protection measures in the coming years.

12 Online Privacy Statistics

73% of consumers are more concerned about their data privacy now than they were a few years ago (SAS)

In a previous data privacy survey of U.S. consumers:

  • Nearly 3/4ths expressed growing concern about their data privacy in the modern tech landscape
  • 64% felt their data is less secure today than it was in years past67% believe the government should do more to protect data privacy

In 2023, similar research found that 72% of Americans believe there should be more government regulation on what can be done with personal data. (Pew)

These sentiments reflect rising anxiety in consumers about how their data is handled. Though consumers want the government to stay invested, 66% of respondents agree that the user is primarily responsible for his/her data security.

At the very least, recent data shows progress towards global data security. Pre-2023, it was forecasted that 65% of the global population would have its personal data protected by modern privacy regulations. (Statista) This figure is projected to rise to 75% by the end of 2024. (Gartner)

This is a vital transition, as 94% of organizations agree that customers won’t buy from them if they don’t believe personal data is properly secured. (Cisco 2024)

And though we live in an era of purported data privacy, consumers are still concerned about what’s happening behind the scenes.

Pew Research shows that 60% of Americans believe it’s impossible to go through daily life without having their personal data tracked by businesses and the government, and

79% agree that they’re concerned about how their data is used. What’s more, over half (59%) claim to have little to no understanding of what businesses actually do with their data. This indicates a failing on behalf of the industry as informed consent is a cornerstone of effective compliance.


6 Social Media Privacy Statistics 

Data privacy remains a top priority for social media users, with more scrutiny than ever placed on the activities of these companies. The SAS survey found that 38% of respondents use social media less often than they used to because of data privacy concerns, and 36% said they had removed a social media account.

More broadly, 31% of respondents were “not at all confident” in social media companies’ ability to protect their data. Additionally, 73% of participants believe that organizations gather their personal information without their knowledge. 

Moving into 2024, public perceptions of social media privacy haven’t improved—77% of Americans have little to no trust in social media leaders to admit mistakes or take responsibility for data misuse publicly (Pew 2023). What’s more, a majority (89%) express substantial concern about how social media platforms gather personal information on children. 


9 Online Trust Statistics

We’ve known for a while that a majority (87%) of consumers say they won’t do business with a company if they have concerns about its security practices. (Mckinsey) According to Pew, things may be getting worse: Despite rising trends towards data transparency, 59% of users claimed to know little to nothing about what companies do with their data in 2019. In 2023, that number increased to 67%, signalling that companies need to do a better job with their data collection disclosures. 

With increasing pressure on social media companies’ activities, it’s clear that consumers demand higher transparency and protection from businesses. For example, about two-thirds of U.S. internet users agree that it’s “very important” that the content of their emails remain visible only to those whom they authorize and that the names and identities of email correspondents remain private.

Those who can’t provide that transparency may lose business for good. Only 10% of respondents said they trust consumer-packaged-goods brands or media companies.

This trust rating varies across industries, indicating that the business type plays a big role in a consumer’s perception of data protection. Respondents are most comfortable sharing data with providers in the financial and healthcare sectors (44%), though notably, no industry surveyed reached a trust rating of 50% for data protection.

A full 71% agree they would stop doing business with a company if it gave away sensitive data without permission. However, users may hold themselves to a different standard. Only 14% of internet users encrypt their online communications and only a third change their passwords regularly. This suggests that while users may not always take the right steps to protect their own information, they still expect businesses to hold up their end.

In 2024, the majority of Americans (78%) trust themselves to make the right decisions about their personal information, yet 61% admit that they’re skeptical that their efforts will make a difference in improving privacy. Both businesses and users need to do their part to create a cohesive privacy ecosystem that keeps users safe.


9 Future of AI Statistics

One of the most pressing concerns for the future of digital privacy is how AI might change data collection and handling. Among those familiar with AI, 70% of users report having little to no trust in companies to make responsible decisions about how they use it in their products. (Pew)

These aren’t new concerns, of course. Even in 2022, 40% of organizations had experienced an AI-related privacy breach (although only 1 in 4 was considered malicious). (Gartner) However, consumers are becoming more aware of AI and its capabilities. Gartner’s research showed that 55% of brand reputation leaders are concerned about the risks associated with generative AI, yet only 21% of organizations have in-depth guidance on how people outside of the organization can use GenAI in a way that causes reputation risks.

Organizations will need to make assuaging these fears a priority. 92% of users see GenAI as a fundamentally different business process, requiring new techniques to manage data and risks. (Cisco 2024) And on top of that, 91% of organizations say they need to be doing more to reassure customers about how their data is being used with AI.

These will become vital customer relationship management tools as AI continues to grow. Recent data shows that about eight in ten of those familiar with AI say its use by companies will lead to people’s personal information being used in ways they won’t be comfortable with (81%) or that weren’t originally intended (80%).

We expect these trends to catch fire in the coming years as AI solutions continue to be deployed at scale. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 60% of CMOs will adopt measures such as content authenticity technology, enhanced monitoring and brand-endorsed user generated content to protect their brands from widespread deception unleashed by GenAI.


5 Business Impact Statistics

Over 70% of business professionals report receiving “significant” or “very significant” benefits from their data privacy efforts. (Cisco)

While effective data privacy management is a top priority for consumers, investing in data privacy can produce substantial benefits for a company’s processes elsewhere. According to a Cisco survey, a majority of respondents report specific benefits from their privacy strategies:

  • Reducing sales delays
  • Mitigating losses from data breaches
  • Enabling innovation
  • Achieving operational efficiency
  • Building trust with customers
  • Making the company more attractive

Of course, data privacy's tangible impact on profits can’t be ignored. 94% of business respondents said their customers would not buy from them if their data were not properly protected. 

Despite this, we’re glad businesses are reaping the benefits of stronger data privacy paradigms. 79% of all corporate respondents said that the impacts of privacy laws have positively impacted the organization, with only 6% indicating that the laws have had negative impacts.

And in further good news, a full 98% of organizations report privacy metrics to their board of directors (Cisco 2024) further indicating that we’re making progress in moving towards a world where privacy isn’t just a box to check but a top organizational priority.

👉 Read More in our Roundup of Data Privacy Laws


14 Data Privacy Goals & Statistics

30% of professionals agree that compliance is the most important priority for earning and building consumer trust. (Cisco)

When security professionals were asked to define their top areas of responsibility, they answered:

  • Risk assessment and management (44%)
  • CISO or security leadership (35%)
  • Data privacy and governance (33%)

Given that the same report found that 76% of consumers would not buy from an organization they didn’t trust with their data, the value of working on these corporate strategies seems clear. However, it’s not enough to just set a policy and call it a day. 2023 research paints a grim picture for privacy policies, with 61% of users agreeing that they’re ineffective at explaining how companies use people’s data. And 69% say they view these policies as just something to get past. (Pew)

In terms of setting long-term data privacy goals, businesses should know that 81% of professionals agree that the way an organization treats its data is indicative of how it views and respects its customers. In this way, data privacy can be seen as a top strategy for customer relationship management—which may be partly why companies like Gartner predict that the average annual budget for privacy programs will exceed $2.5 million by 2024.

However, it’s worth noting that the priorities of users and the priorities of businesses don’t always align so directly. For example, from the above report:

  • 30% of businesses say that compliance is the biggest priority for building consumer trust;
  • 39% of consumers say that transparency and having insight into how their data was used was the biggest priority.

While adhering to privacy laws is undoubtedly crucial for organizations, building trust and credibility goes beyond mere compliance. Consumers now view legal adherence as a basic expectation, while transparency emerges as the key differentiator.

To earn and maintain trust, businesses must prioritize openness and clear communication regarding data practices, showcasing a commitment to safeguarding their customers' information. Transparent policies and practices create a positive perception, reinforcing consumers' confidence in the organization's ethical handling of sensitive data.

Importantly, 96% of business respondents agree that they have an ethical obligation to treat data properly, up from 92% in the previous year—indicating that the industry is moving in the right direction. Research shows that by the end of 2024, 60% of large businesses will deploy new solutions, such as privacy-enhancing computation techniques, to better protect data while in use. (Gartner)


5 Remote Work Privacy Statistics

80% of employers allow workers to perform tasks remotely or through hybrid frameworks. (Deloitte)

One of modern businesses' biggest data privacy challenges is addressing remote work security. With companies still reeling from the aftermath of COVID-19, addressing these issues will be crucial moving forward. 53% of respondents said they allowed employees to perform hybrid work functions, while 27% allow workforces to work fully remotely altogether.

This paradigm presents a host of data privacy and IT security challenges, not to mention the logistical issues of incorporating global workforces into a team. 64% of respondents note that the most cited guardrail for remote global workforces is to ensure the employee has the existing legal right to work. On top of that, 46% generally agree that policies and regulations were the top challenges for supporting remote digital work.

In our view, many organizations face challenges in comprehending pertinent regulations and establishing effective governance structures for their policies. Struggling to align these structures with acceptable levels of risk, businesses grapple with compliance while working to safeguard sensitive information.

Achieving a balance between regulatory requirements and risk management becomes a complex task that requires a clear understanding of data privacy laws and implementing tailored governance measures to protect data effectively.


8 Data Security Statistics

Data security remains a top priority among privacy and compliance goals, yet, the industry as a whole is slow to change.The average number of days between when a breach was discovered and when it was reported was 50 days. (SecureOPS)

With consumer trust at an all-time low, users are more diligent than ever in assessing a company’s ability to secure its information. In this way, data security isn’t just a business protection process, it’s a chief way to manage customer expectations.

As many as 60% of U.S. residents have been exposed to fraud schemes, and in 2018 alone, over 100 million personal records were exposed through a series of high-profile data breaches.

Of course, users aren’t the only victims here. Reports suggest that small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are targeted 43% of the time by cyberattacks, and the average cost of cybercrime for an organization is estimated to be $13 million per year. Reports even suggest that as many as 33 billion records will be stolen annually by 2023, indicating that the industry still has a long way to go in protecting user privacy.

Recent estimates show that the global cybersecurity market is set to reach $300 billion in value by 2028. Chief among these tactics will be the growing adoption of cloud technologies, internet-of-things, and AI applications, as well as the unique, personalized ways that companies manage user data collection through cookies, banners, consent forms, and more.


11 Cookie Privacy Statistics

65% of respondents agree that excessive cookie use raises privacy concerns – yet, 60% of buyers are willing to share more data to receive personalized benefits. (Deloitte)

These two data points seem to offer conflicting perspectives on user privacy. If consumers worry about how companies use their information, why would they be willing to share more?

The answer lies in perceptions and privacy management strategies, particularly with how and when businesses choose to keep customers informed:

  • 75% of sites use cookie banners
  • 15% use walled content
  • 10% use pop-up notifications

Each tactic presents different options and opportunities for viewers, and how each audience reacts to this choice will vary based on their goals—as well as their perception of the company’s brand. Deloitte’s research found that 69% of respondents feel an organization’s reputation plays an important factor in user trust. As we know, this type of trust plays a big role in how data is shared and whether they opt-in to cookie policies.

This is vital because well-meaning users tend to neglect reading the policies they commit to. Only about one-in-five adults overall say they always (9%) or often (13%) read a company’s privacy policy before agreeing to it. (Pew) Plus, 63% of Americans admit that they know very little, or nothing, about which laws and regulations are currently in place to safeguard their privacy.

And while not all consumers are aware of their rights, businesses bear the burden of making sure that they’re protected. Now, consider that 55% of websites’ consent tools analyzed do not offer the possibility to tailor users’ cookie consent settings proactively. Issues like this are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of deploying informed consent management tools for businesses.

Notably, 61% of cookie notifications in the tech industry feature attractive fonts and colors to entice readers into accepting all cookies. 43% of the websites studied were deemed to “nudge” individuals towards accepting all cookies through tactics like these.


Roundup & Key Takeaways

At Enzuzo, we believe in an informed consent approach centered on keeping companies compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other regional laws. Our cookie management tools strive to design cookie consent banners and forms that are easy to understand, accessible, and unobtrusive, respecting users' preferences and rights.

Beyond mere compliance, we aim to go the extra mile to educate users about the implications of their choices and the broader significance of data privacy in today's interconnected world. Keep an eye on our blog as we continue to report on the changing landscape of data privacy.

Osman Husain

Osman is the content lead at Enzuzo. He has a background in data privacy management via a two-year role at ExpressVPN and extensive freelance work with cybersecurity and blockchain companies. Osman also holds an MBA from the Toronto Metropolitan University.