Most organisations are limiting the use of Generative AI (GenAI) over data privacy and security issues, 27 per cent have banned its use at least temporarily, Cisco said in its 2024 Data Privacy Benchmark Study.
The responses are drawn from 2,600 privacy and security professionals across 12 geographies, the seventh edition of the Benchmark shows that privacy is much more than a regulatory compliance matter.
Among the top concerns, businesses cited the threats to an organisation’s legal and Intellectual Property rights (69 per cent), and the risk of disclosure of information to the public or competitors (68 per cent).
The report added that most organisations are aware of these risks and are putting in place controls to limit exposure: 63 per cent have established limitations on what data can be entered, 61 per cent have limits on which GenAI tools can be used by employees, and 27 per cent said their organisation had banned GenAI applications altogether for the time being.
The report further noted that consumers are concerned about AI use involving their data today, and yet 91 per cent of organisations recognise they need to do more to reassure their customers that their data is being used only for intended and legitimate purposes in AI.
Consumer and organisational priorities for building trust diverge. Consumers prioritise clear information on data usage and avoiding data sales for marketing (individuals), while businesses focus on complying with privacy laws and preventing data breaches.
“Organisations see GenAI as a fundamentally different technology with novel challenges to consider,” said Dev Stahlkopf, Cisco chief legal officer.
Approximately 91 per cent of businesses feel their data is safer stored within their country or region, 86 per cent believe that global providers, operating at scale, offer superior data protection compared to local providers.
Over the past five years, privacy spending has more than doubled, benefits have trended up, and returns have remained strong. The report said that the last year, 95 per cent indicated that privacy’s benefits exceed its costs, and the average organisation reports getting privacy benefits of 1.6 times their spending.
In 2023, large organisations (10,000+ employees) raised privacy spending by 7-8 per cent from the previous year. In contrast, smaller organisations, such as those with 50-249 employees, decreased privacy investment by an average of 25 per cent, the study added.