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Three privacy companies get funding rounds

New funding rounds for BigID, Skyflow and Aleo; plus legislation to watch monitoring data scraping, AI algorithms and missteps with employee data.

--Susan Raab, Editor

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BigID raises $30M, reaches $1.25B valuation 

BigID launches freemium, privacy-on-demand SaaS platform

A day after announcing a $30M investment from Advent International, BigID introduced BigID.me, a new privacy portal for organizations that don't have a designated privacy team in-house to satisfy regulatory demands and manage customer trust. Designed for use by marketers and non-professional privacy managers, the system can help manage and automate key functions including consent, cookie management and data rights. 

Read More - BigID.me new platform

Read More - new funding


Data vault building tool for easy compliance

Skyflow provides a zero-trust data vault for fintech app building

Skyflow’s Payments Data Privacy Vault is an API that allows fintech developers to easily build apps without worrying about data security, privacy or compliance because the API has tokenization, polymorphic encryption, and a data governance engine built in. 

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IT'S THE LAW                                   

A new U.S. bipartisan bill, The Fourth Amendment is Not for Sale Act, is designed to close a law enforcement data access loophole. It requires government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain a court order to access data from brokers that sell personal information. It would also ban the purchase of data obtained illegally, through hacking, or violation of terms of service, or from a user’s account or device, targeting techniques used by Clearview AI and others. 

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American Press Institute/Associated Press study finds 1/3 Americans don’t think facts matter

A survey of more than 2500 U.S. adults indicates that of five journalism values tested, facts mattered most, but still 1/3 overall didn’t feel facts are the key to knowing what's true.  There's even less agreement with other journalism values, with just 29% agreeing that exposing problems is the best way for society to solve them. Support for these values had less to do with political party or ideology than with moral instincts that cut across demographics. 

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Bellweather lawsuits a warning on misuse of employee data 

There is increased focus on protecting employee data, and two new lawsuits, in Illinois and Pennsylvania, indicate U.S. courts are prepared to support employee claims. In Illinois, the plaintiff claimed his employer violated Illinois' strict Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), when it forced him to "clock in" his hours using fingerprinting without proper notice or consent. The court agreed that this placed the claimant at increased risk for having his data stolen, so rejected a motion to dismiss the case. In the second instance, a group claimed that a Pennsylvania medical center was negligent in adequately protecting employee data that resulted in data being stolen. 

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Data Trusts may provide a way to monetize citizen data

The EU, Google and others are exploring various ways to utilize massive amounts of consumer data with permission from and accountability to individuals via data trusts that would manage the data on their behalf. This is not a new concept, but it is one that may gain traction as individuals exercise rights to ownership of their data. Here's a paper I recently published in the Journal of Data Protection & Privacy, Volume 4 Number 2, published by Henry Stewart Publications, https://www.henrystewartpublications.com/jdpp, that explores this in-depth. 

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Aleo raises $28M and plans launch of new platform

The company provides tools for developers to create systems that do decentralized private computing at scale.  The core technology uses blockchain and zero-knowledge cryptography to let systems process personal data without seeing the data itself.   Company founders include cryptographers, engineers, designers, and researchers from leading Web companies and academic institutions.

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In Brief: 

WordPress considers blocking FLoC by default. It would just take a few lines of code to label Google FLoC as a “security threat” and if WordPress does this, it would join a coalition of Internet companies including DuckDuckGo in opposition. Read More

New FTC warning reminds companies of AI algorithm risks. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has just released a statement reminding companies that laws are in place to guard against discrimination that can occur from the use of artificial intelligence. This may indicate where emphasis could be placed in future enforcement actions. Read More

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