While researching and writing this topic, keep in mind the Logical Model to differentiate between input, activities, output, outcome and impact.
An analysis about one specific breach (data breach or privacy breach) takes the risk of being anecdotal. We do not want to report every single breach that a company has faced. This kind of event is only useful if it serves to illustrate a broader issue, e.g. a history of repeated dishonest behaviour, neglect, and lack of regulation from the company to many of its clients/employees/users.
Unless the breach and underlying wrongdoing is so significant that it would in itself justify a dedicated analysis, you should broaden the impact analysis to the larger issue, not just the specific breach. Read more here on finding the right granularity level.
If your analysis is about a data breach
The introduction should provide more information about how data breaches contribute negatively to society and its impact. This will help the reader make an educated assumption about the impact the company has.
Beyond negatively impacting the company, data breaches and cybersecurity attacks have short and long-term consequences on employees/clients/consumers’ lives. They can result in identity theft, fraudulent credit card activity, and on a more interpersonal level, emotional challenges such as stress.
In your analysis, try to go beyond reporting the data breach(es) and measure the social impact it has had on individuals. You can use studies as proxies. Learn more in the article Step 5: Assess scale and value.
If your analysis is about the breach of user’s privacy
The introduction should provide more information about how privacy breaches contribute negatively to society and its impact. This will help the reader make an educated assumption about the impact the company has.
Note that an infringement or breach of contract/Terms & Conditions is not always necessary to analyze the impact of the company’s actions, products, services or policies. You can still measure the impact of Facebook and the likes, who sometimes breach the privacy of their users by abusing the information they held on them. Alternatively, analyses can also be written on companies who are doing well on this matter.
In your analysis, try to go beyond reporting the privacy breach(es) and measure the social impact it has had on individuals. You can use studies as proxies. Learn more in the article Step 5: Assess scale and value.
For both topics, make sure to describe the scale of the impact by taking into account:
1/ The breadth of the impact
Is the impact local, national, or global?
How many people are affected? Thousands? Millions? Billions?
As a rule of thumb, if it affects at least 1 million people, it is considered significant. Although, please bear in mind that this is not always the case, as, at times, it could be considered unfair to expect an impact to touch that many lives. Thus, this is flexible.
2/ The depth of the impact
Is the life of people concerned deeply affected, or does the issue just marginally impact them?
Are the changes brought by the issue profoundly changing society?
3/ The persistence of the impact
You can also use studies on the impact of data privacy as proxies. Learn more in the article Step 5: Assess scale and value.