2018 Reflections – what the privacy debacle taught us

The least surprising statistic to come out of 2018 has to be the information that there was a 30% increase in funding for Privacy Technology Startups*.  As governments, consumers and business grasped the sheer scale of privacy abuse, whether through leaks, hacking or the swirling Big Data soup cooked up by social media companies, it all conspired to illustrate how exposed our personal, precious, private data became, and all roads began to lead to a heightened interest in the technology to clean up, manage, secure and above all reassure.

The perfect storm of Facebook, its partners and collaborators abusing trust, GDPR in Europe and a number of high-profile data breaches combined to show that privacy and how to keep it in a digital world is the number one challenge facing the technology industry.  Not just paying lip service to privacy notices, but actively working to protect the wrong information getting into the wrong hands.  It’s a technology problem, whether blaming the original design of the Internet, or failing to implement some of the proven security measures, technology needs to provide solutions.

It’s time to get on board, to clean up the mess and restore trust.  The fact Privacy Technology companies are securing funding in a highly competitive market bodes well for the industry and there are many significant areas that need investment and need investment now.  The explosion of data that is a natural consequence of the Internet of Things threatens to overwhelm some of the legacy technology around data security and is not fit for purpose.  When the money men begin to come on board to secure business opportunities around new ways of providing privacy for data, applications, identity and APIs, its good news – this is one you don’t want to miss out on!


*Crunchbase statistic