There's a reason named "privacy" as the word of the year.

With privacy a defining theme over the past year, has named “privacy” as word of the year (an accompanying infographic spotlights the year’s privacy-related news). Last week we featured our recent research on consumer views around The End of Anonymity, one of our 10 Trends for 2014—the idea that it’s becoming nearly impossible to remain unobserved and untracked by corporations and governments. This week, data from GlobalWebIndex demonstrates how concerns around privacy have steadily risen over the last three years.

Globally, 56 percent of Internet users report feeling “concerned about the Internet eroding my personal privacy,” up from 48 percent in September 2010. With heavy Internet censorship in China, concern there is understandably high. By contrast, German and British respondents are less concerned than the global average, perhaps due to more stringent privacy protections in the European Union. The U.S. falls in the middle, with the population who feel concerned expanding from 43 percent in 2010 to 57 percent currently.

Privacy will quickly become a “market differentiator,” as a new report from Forrester puts it. For more on what the End of Anonymity means for brands, download our 10 Trends for 2014 report here.