Privacy megatrend: Privacy engineering talent shortage

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Demand for people who can apply complex privacy requirements to business problems will exceed supply. 

Why will it happen?

The six other privacy megatrends all point to a sustained, global need to design all aspects of a company’s operations around new trusted technology and data ethics standards that are robust enough to stand up to continual inspection by external stakeholders. 

Increasingly, companies will need high-demand staff trained in STEM disciplines as well those trained in philosophy and ethics. Software and hardware engineers will need privacy expertise while attorneys will need to be conversant in technology.  

There’s a “dangerous” global shortage of cybersecurity talent, including privacy professionals, according to Cyberseek, which reports that cyber roles take 21% longer to fill than other IT positions.

Privacy certification programs already introduce professionals to these necessary skills, but no existing training can develop the expertise gained through meeting the ‘‘10,000-hour’’ rule of on-the-job skills mastery. Increasing demand for these advanced skills will outpace the availability of an already limited pool of multidisciplinary talent.

What’s driving the pace of this trend?

  • Data-intensive technology innovation.
  • Marketplace demands centered on fair data processing.
  • Privacy enforcement.
  • Trusted technology standards.

How will it impact business? 

Multinationals going the traditional route, by depending on just one or two people in their legal department to meet all of their privacy needs, won’t be able to meet their 2030 business objectives related to technology or data. 

Instead, they will be edged by competitors, and experience higher rates of consumer and employee attrition, and slower sales cycles. They are expected to absorb an increasing amount of risk in their data-value chain.

What should CEOs do?

  • Have the chief audit executive monitor and report on the company’s privacy talent risk and plan for growing privacy business exposure.
  • Direct the CHRO and CPO to develop a learning and development training curriculum to foster internal privacy talent across the three lines of defense.
  • Ask the CPO to increase connectivity with third-party service providers with privacy talent to diversify the company’s talent sources.
  • Guide the CFO to budget appropriately for these seven trends.

“Data-driven use of technology will be a key driver for economic growth in the post-pandemic economy. As one of the leading suppliers of engineering talent, it will be imperative for state and non-state actors in India to think about a strategy to meet a privacy engineering talent shortage that will be so imminent, and invest in training and upskilling programs.”

Anirban Sengupta PwC India Privacy Leader

Here are your seven privacy megatrends

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Jay Cline

Jay Cline

US Privacy Leader, Principal, PwC US

Mir Kashifuddin

Mir Kashifuddin

Partner, PwC US

Joseph Nocera

Joseph Nocera

Cyber & Privacy Innovation Institute Leader, PwC US

Sean  Joyce

Sean Joyce

Global and US Cybersecurity, Privacy & Forensics Leader, PwC US

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