Online privacy will be a defining factor in businesses’ success and failure in 2016. That’s according to new findings from Forrester Research, which says Internet privacy has become more important than ever to consumers.
“In 2016, privacy strategy can no longer merely focus on aligning with compliance requirements,” one Forrester representative wrote in summarizing the findings of a recent privacy research report by the company.
Another warned online content providers that it’s time to “get your privacy house in order.”
According to Forrester, the following new trends are redefining the way people think about online privacy:
- More people are using ad blockers not just because they find ads annoying, but because of concerns that ads track them and violate their privacy.
- Government regulators, most recently the state of California, are adopting stricter online privacy laws, which provide Internet users with new tools for hiding their identity — and new ways of punishing content providers who violate online privacy.
- Mobile wallets are replacing traditional payment methods online. Mobile wallets introduce another resource for interacting anonymously over the Internet.
- Web companies are building new tiered access models, in which users can choose to pay for extra privacy.
Forrester’s research is tailored for business executives who want to make money online, not ordinary Internet users concerned about privacy. The company is not interested in online privacy for privacy’s sake.
Still, Forrester’s findings provide clear indication of just how important privacy has become to a large proportion of the online population. People who understand and care about Internet privacy issues are no longer on the margins.