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Privacy Tech | Platform incorporates self-service to assist data subjects Related reading: TrustArc, BigID seek to bring simplification through new partnership

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During his time at the London Stock Exchange and State Street Corporation, Moiz Kohari faced a problem anyone who worked in a large organization can find relatable. Due to the high customer volume each entity had, Kohari had to maneuver around large amounts of sensitive data spread throughout several different systems.

As laws such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation and California Consumer Privacy Act gave data subject new rights, Kohari saw the systems he was surrounded by and realized it would not be possible to traverse all the data and effectively respond to information requests.

Kohari hopes he can help solve this problem with the launch of Manetu. As co-founder and CEO of Manetu, Kohari wanted to create a product to help streamline the data subject request process while also giving consumers a much more active role when they receive their information.

Manetu does this via its Consumer Privacy Management platform. The tool allows organizations to connect to all its databases. Kohari said the platform uses machine learning algorithms to identify unstructured data, which would reside in cloud environments or an organization's own network drives and structured data that sits in a database from Oracle or Salesforce.

"We can look at unstructured data and identify (personally identifiable information) that is hiding within unstructured data by leveraging all kinds of natural language processing capabilities," Kohari said. "We create deep neural networks to give us the ability to decipher information."

Kohari said while Manetu focused on PII for compliance purposes, the platform gives users a level of customization to map and discover whatever data they wish to find.

After the platform examines each system and discovers all the information an organization has on a particular person, the data is sent to the customer in a self-service portal. The person has the ability to edit any information needed, and those changes are sent back and made in the original databases in real time.

The organization is still allowed to affect this ability should a data subject attempt to edit fields it deems too sensitive.

"For those types of things, what we’ve done is incorporated a policy engine on top of this and those policies can be defined directly by the organization to say ‘for these types of attributes, consumers can change them, but for these types of attributes they cannot,’" Kohari said.

Manetu Chief Operating Officer Rick Hurwitz said the company wanted to give consumers more control over their information not only to help them feel more involved in the process, but also to alleviate some of the pressure off the organization.

"That consumer can go in, through the privacy protocols of the enterprise, and see the information that enterprise holds on the consumer, edit that information, revoke that information and tell that enterprise not to sell that information," Hurwitz said. "That is a fulfillment of all the compliance laws by definition. You relive this immense burden through this self-service aspect."

Korahi added self-service can be a way organizations can signal to customers that they are invested in privacy. 

"Until recently, there’s been little compelling reason for companies to embed privacy considerations into their larger brand or business strategies," Kohari said. "But today, we are living in a very different era around the subject of privacy because of emerging laws, technologies and changing interests and awareness of the consumers themselves. Consumers today want to be assured their personal data is protected and they want to know brands make privacy a core value." 

Kohari acknowledges their idea isn't a novel one. The privacy market has its share of data wallets and repositories currently available. What Kohari hopes separates Manetu is its team, which has been together for 20 years.

He also believes his staff's background in the financial sector gives them an understanding of just how valuable and important data transactions can be.

"In our DNA, most of us have been open-sourced developers, and we were running some of the largest stock exchanges and custody banks on the planet. Our technologies, even today, are running trillions of dollars worth of asset movement on the planet," Kohari said. "When we bring that attention to data management and privacy management, we are bringing some of those principles to bear where we are treating it as if it’s a trillion-dollar transaction."

Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

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