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Exciting new technologies, from the Internet-of-Things to blockchain-based apps and 5G, will make huge leaps in 2020. Encryption is becoming more widespread and significant as these innovations reshape our lives. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that cybersecurity experts have declared 2020 “The Year of Encryption.”

Here are a few of the reasons why 2020 is “The Year of Encryption ” and the changes you should be on the lookout for.


The Launch of the CCPA

As of Jan. 1, 2020, California residents have more control over their data thanks to the 2020 California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). And it’s good news not only for those living in California. Most businesses conform to California laws rather than creating separate products for different states. That’s why this act will reach people as far away from California as Hawaii and Alaska.

The law requires companies to disclose the data they have about California residents who request it. These organizations must also delete information from any residents who ask them to do so. Californians can even forbid them from sharing data with other parties.

In case of a data breach, they can also sue companies for damages. But only if companies didn’t encrypt or redact their data. It will further prompt organizations to start using encryption technology to prevent liabilities.


5G Rollout

5G began making its appearance in select places in 2019. Most notably, the end of the year saw T-Mobile’s rollout of the first nationwide 5G network in the US. As 5G networks extend into more places, 2020 will be a big year for 5G-enabled devices.

The first release of sub-$600 5G phones will make the devices and access to 5G more affordable for the average consumer. As technology becomes more widespread, it will raise more questions than ever about data security.


Renewed Federal Initiatives Targeting Encryption

Lawmakers in the US capital (and in other countries) are also engaging in new talks about encryption. In Washington, senators are pushing tech companies to hand over access to encrypted data to law enforcement agencies.

But there is a problem with these “backdoors”. If the tech community agrees to comply, they also create opportunities for cybercriminals to access sensitive information.

Thus, if law enforcement agencies gain this ability, consumers will have to find new secure ways to store their data. Encryption will be an essential part of doing that.


GDPR and Brexit

Like the CCPA, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has only been around for a short time. GDPR is data protection and privacy act in the European Union. It addresses how to store and transfer data about EU residents.

Organizations are still working on how to comply with the GDPR. In some cases, it requires encryption to ensure compliance. It also fines for non-compliance, which generates both headlines and calls for new solutions.

Brexit is going to have a significant impact on the regulation and may determine its long-term viability.


Encryption and Elections

2020 is a major election year around the world. But everybody is paying attention to the US presidential election. It’s been four years since the Cambridge Analytica Scandal and the election meddling activities associated with it came to light. Concerns remain how the US can guarantee fair elections this year and beyond.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently debuted a cryptographic voting system. Governments could use it for encrypted voting. Most likely, countries won’t use it much in the upcoming elections. But it does show the growing move towards election security and encryption.


2020 and Broad Adoption of Biometric Security

Biometric security features like fingerprint ID and facial recognition software have taken off over the last few years. Over 75% of people now use some form of it. 2020 will see the technology emerge in more places. From apps to even stores that allow you to pay via facial scanning, it’s the beginning of the biometric era.


Keep Pace with “The Year Of Encryption”

These are only a few of the trends that make 2020 “The Year of Encryption.” Like the start of any decade, they also signal the changes to come.

It’s also an excellent time to consider the use of encryption for personal data and devices:

  • The first step begins with securing your files. Begin with finding the best encryption software for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android to make sure your personal data is safe.
  • Then review the privacy settings on all apps checking to see what platforms can do with your data.
  • Finally, round out your protection by using encryption on your home network.

Together, these strategies will give you the comprehensive security to truly make the most of out “The Year of Encryption.”