Guest blog by Wendy Gittleson for Galvanize
For many Americans, cybersecurity has become a top concern.
Cybercrime is booming. In 2019, more than $3 billion was lost to internet hackers and scammers. Over 164 million sensitive records were exposed. Just last year, Facebook was fined $5 billion for privacy violations, and Google and YouTube were fined $170 million for violating the Children’s Privacy Law. A poll conducted a year ago showed that 87% of Americans “view cybersecurity as a priority” and that a candidate’s cybersecurity platform could affect their vote.
In 2019, the information and privacy industry was worth an estimated $124 billion. By 2025, the industry is expected to be worth more than $300 billion. It’s not surprising. Polls show that despite spending around 24 hours a week online, around 8 in 10 Americans feel that their personal data is being compromised. As more and more people are working from home, privacy has taken on a whole new importance, which could explain the fact that data privacy firms are thriving, even during the pandemic — perhaps especially during the pandemic.
California is the epicenter of the tech world, and on January 1st, a law went into effect that opened the doors for a whole new wave of privacy startups. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) gives consumers the right to know what kind of information businesses collect and how the information is shared. It also gives them the right to opt out of the sale of their private information. A similar law went into effect in the European Union in 2018.
Nearly every company with a website gathers data from its users, but until 2020, little investment has gone into protecting users’ privacy, so companies are turning to third-party startups to ensure compliance with California and EU laws.
While there’s no doubt the CCPA opened the door for potentially exponential growth in the privacy industry, consumer demand and legal battles have driven fivefold growth over the last three years. It’s estimated that companies will spend between $50,000 and $55 billion to become legally compliant.
Forbes notes that there are currently more than 21,000 startups that list security technologies as a core part of their business model. 1,653 of them have received seed funding in the last year alone.
We’re highlighting five companies worth watching:
- Cape Privacy
- Beyond Identity
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