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Europe Data Protection Digest | Notes from the IAPP Europe Managing Director, 17 February 2017 Related reading: The Privacy Advisor's top 10 news stories of 2018

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Greetings from Brussels!

The IAPP “2017 Privacy Tech Vendor Report” has already been refreshed with a v. 1.2, which can now be downloaded here. The report as a whole, released initially Jan. 31, has been a while in the making and is the result of increasing demand, as privacy pros look to identify appropriate tech solutions to help them with privacy operations. The technology guide now features more than 50 companies, with more than 3,500 words of analysis and categorization by way of introduction.

The report also includes insight from a number of leaders within some of these companies to better understand where the market is trending and what privacy pros can do to become "champions" for new technology that can help overcome challenges, both for the privacy office and the enterprise as a whole. The time is now for privacy tech vendors, in a climate of enterprise awareness and behavioral change towards data processing as a whole. Our CEO, Trevor Hughes, who has been focusing on the technology mushroom of late, had this to say: “The burgeoning market of technology startups is geared toward helping privacy professionals do their jobs better and more efficiently. It's been a clear need for some time, and now the tech sector is stepping in."

The privacy tech market is still very much in its infancy, but maturing at a lightning rate. In the last two years alone, dozens of startups have emerged to provide technological solutions for organizations working toward data protection accountability, compliance, and risk assessment and mitigation. Like the information security industry before it, this proliferating industry is poised to fill the gaps created by new technological challenges and evolutionary regulation; the GDPR is clearly proving to be key driver for the industry.

This rise in privacy and data protection technology is great news for privacy professionals. There are now options for a number of needs. Whether it’s focused on consent management, or more broadly, for privacy program automation, there are choice solutions out there. The requirement is that purchasing privacy technology, in general, will involve a new learning curve for the profession, organizations and industries. Privacy, as other industries before it, now finds itself at a point in its young history where it is a market that's driving technology innovation for the better.

Case in point that things are moving within the privacy tech industry, just this week it was announced that Mozilla-backed Cliqz, the German startup building an anti-tracking browser with a built-in private search feature, is acquiring the consumer assets of the U.S. ad-tracker privacy tool and browser Ghostery. In acquiring Ghostery’s anti-tracking browser extensions and mobile apps, and by extension their 10 million active users, Cliqz is hoping to accelerate its products into other markets, with product launches planned in the U.S. and Europe soon.

Ghostery (which will revert to its previous name, Evidon) will continue to engage in enterprise-focused digital governance business focused on privacy and tracking compliance. The U.S. company continues to see increased demand for its B2B digital governance services, pointing to incoming privacy regulations stimulating corporates to take a closer look at their processes. “The EU’s GDPR in particular has catalyzed the need for digital governance and clients are approaching us with an increasing set of demands,” said Scott Meyer, CEO and co-founder.

As so many vendors are stating, with the GDPR and the pending alignment of the ePrivacy Regulation on the horizon, there is a massive opportunity to overhaul how companies are tackling the challenges of consumer data from a global perspective. Privacy pros and aspiring DPOs will certainly have their hands full defining the next generation of privacy programs and tech solutions. Our hope is that our Vendor Report will go some way to give you the lay of the land, see what’s out there, and guide you direction. Enjoy.

 

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