Cisco study reveals critical role of privacy emerging from global pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Cisco on Tuesday published the 2021 Data Privacy Benchmark Study, its fourth annual look into corporate privacy practices worldwide, which found enhanced importance of privacy protections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The independent, anonymized survey analyzed the responses of 4,400 security and privacy professionals across 25 countries and regions.

The study found significant privacy concerns stemming from the pandemic, fueled by rapid shift to remote work and the need to utilize health information of individuals.

Most people are fine with sharing health information for workplace safety and pandemic response, but are uncomfortable with other uses such as research, according to the study.

Eighty-seven percent of consumers expressed concerns about the privacy protections of the tools they needed to use to work, interact and connect remotely.

A total of 57 percent supported employers using data to help make workplaces safe, while less than half supported location tracking, contact tracing, disclosing information about infected individuals, and using individual information for research.

Strong privacy infrastructure and robust security practices are essential for post-pandemic social and economic recovery, the study suggested.

"Privacy has come of age - recognized as a fundamental human right and rising to a mission-critical priority for executive management," said Cisco Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer Harvey Jang. "And with the accelerated move to work from anywhere, privacy has taken on greater importance."

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