41 data privacy statistics and facts you can’t afford to ignore in 2023

Ali Qamar Last updated: December 31, 2022 Read time: 27 minutes Disclosure

More and more users are becoming privacy savvy in this age, but many burning questions remain unknown to most. These data privacy statistics bring light to them.

Sneak peek at the importance of knowing data privacy statistics

From devising company policies to protecting personal and business data, ensuring privacy and security is inevitable in this digital era of cybersecurity. Cybercriminals have seemingly unlimited, unique ways to target anyone at any time, regardless of the victim’s stature, inflicting devastating financial and reputational losses. To ensure you can combat the existing threats, you must stay abreast with the latest global data privacy statistics.

There’s every reason to be concerned about digital privacy in this day and age. Is your company about to take a turn on its privacy policy? Are you worried about your personal information getting out there because of a data breach? Do you not trust so much the respect your government has for individual rights, especially in the digital arena? All those things and more are excellent reasons to educate yourself and become a privacy-savvy user. And the first step in that journey is learning about some vital privacy statistics you should have in mind for the rest of the newly started year (and life).

If you still haven’t learned about the relevance of protecting your data privacy online, we’d like to know where you’ve been! We would love to have a holiday in a spot that provides such a perfect degree of isolation!

But even if you already know that privacy matters, it’s still difficult to assess how far data collection can go and how much of your data needs protection. We hope to shed light in this regard by showing you many useful data privacy statistics and data and how their implications can reach you.

Fundamental concepts about privacy and data collection

  • Corporations and governments share very few values and interests. One of them is data collection. For companies, knowing more about potential customers increases their income. Governments can do a more effective job in the same way.
  • Social media is the internet’s data collection gold mine.
  • Data protection laws, as they are, are tepid attempts to cover the sun by using your finger. While they’re better than having nothing at all, they won’t protect you in any meaningful way — in other words: it’s your responsibility.
  • Theft information is the bane of the age. Anyone can experience it.

Do you think that the universe that includes data collection, government surveillance and subpoenas, and identity theft is very far away from you? Think again. It’s right around the corner; you just haven’t run into it yet (and let’s hope you won’t). The good news is that there is hope for us all. You can take plenty of measures to protect yourself online, but choosing them correctly requires locating the hazards accurately.

The bare basics about data privacy facts

Whether you’re aware or not, you’ve authorized implicitly or explicitly many actors on the internet to gather data about you. Data privacy is in the way they handle that information. Allowing a company to have some information about you is not necessarily a terrible thing. It can be useful, and if the company doesn’t misuse your information, you should be safe. But limiting those who have any of your data and what they’ll do with it is also an essential component in data privacy.

My personal online data: How does it go?

Data collection is not the exception on the internet. It’s the rule. The great big rule! Wherever you go online, the chances are that somebody is paying attention to what you do and keeping a record of some kind. Anything from cookies to browser fingerprinting can end up spilling the beans on you. And why would anybody want to collect data on you, we hear you ask? Keep reading.

The main reason to gather your data is to know you well enough so that every website can serve you with advertising tailored to your taste. Of course, every website has a slightly different strategy, but that’s what they all want. For example, target ads provide you with things that will catch your eye more quickly, thus increasing the chances that you will click on the ad and have a look. Since incoming traffic in online stores is proportional to the site’s profits, this practice is entirely justified from a business point of view.

You could interpret the targeting ad strategy as a service to you! You are getting ads about things that could interest you without moving a finger! But, alas, things are never so simple. A proven marketing fact is that the more you see an ad, the more likely you will think about that product favorably. So these ads are akin to a brute-force attack on your mind. If you see the advertisement for X product often enough for a more extended period, you may buy it in the end, whether you need it or not.

Top privacy statistics – The quick list

We’ll dive deep into these facts and stats alongside many more statistics (right below this section), but below are the top 10 outstanding privacy statistics in our list:

  1. Google tracks about 40% of the world’s traffic. So yes, Google practically wrote the book on data tracking and targeted ads. And it’s still the leading player.
  2. 49% of American users are willing to help with terrorism. While freedom and privacy are core values of the American experience, at least at the level of rhetoric, almost half of American internet users are happy to have their privacy infringed as long as they think it helps fight terrorism.
  3. The wish to control personal data is not unanimous. For example, only 93% of American users wish to control their personal data.
  4. Targeted ads increase the company’s revenue by 4%. The collection of user data is all about targeting ads at the corporate level. And it works. It can increase a company’s revenue by as much as 4%.
  5. Almost half of the world’s websites use cookies. We hear so much about cookies and privacy that we’d think that they’re ubiquitous. But, in fact, only about 45% of the world’s websites use cookies.
  6. Most internet users do enjoy having ads targeted to their interests. Targeted ads may seem intrusive as a matter of principle. But 84% of users say they like them better!
  7. Only 3% of Americans have an understanding of digital privacy laws. Yes, it’s true. Even among intensive internet users, ignorance about privacy laws is overwhelming at 97%.
  8. Identity theft is the main fear among users. 72% of internet users fear identity theft above any other problem they could have as internet users.
  9. 20% of the world’s governments still have no privacy or data protection laws.
  10. 83% of American users still use passwords that will get them hacked. A great majority of American internet users are still choosing the most unsafe passwords possible.

Top 41 data privacy statistics you definitely must know – The detailed list

Ok, so enough with the context. Now, we will show you an extensive list of privacy statistics that will help you understand how you’re under constant surveillance from every website you visit and that it’s not an innocent thing. After that, you should probably do something about it.

1. The portion of your traffic that gets tracked.

According to WhoTracks M.E., about 82% of the pages on the web include a third-party script provided by none other than Google itself. Furthermore, nearly half of these scripts have the explicit goal of tracking you. So, do the math. Google tracks about 40% of the world’s web traffic. And we’re talking about a single corporation. So, if only Google does this, that shouldn’t be a big deal. Right?