Big data privacy startup Privitar attracts heavyweight investors

Big data privacy startup Privitar attracts heavyweight investors

Privitar, a UK startup promising to help banks and others make the most of big data while ensuring customer information is kept private, has raised more than $1 million in a seed funding round joined by two former Thomson Reuters CEOs.

Tom Glocer and Peter Job were joined by Rockspring CEO David Gammon and First Derivatives CTO Gerard Buggy in the oversubscribed round.

With recent ICO data suggesting that the majority of people are concerned about how their personal information is secured and passed on and sold between firms, Privitar is promising to help make using and trading big data safer.

The firm's patented design for privacy-preserving data uses algorithms to conceal identities by undetectably merging individual entity data into ‘crowds’. In addition, suppression techniques, including attribute level encryption and format-preserving tokenisation, help mitigate against "privacy harms" when they do happen.

Jason du Preez, CEO, Privitar, says: "We've found a way to satisfy an individual’s need for privacy alongside an organisation’s desire to predict and capitalise on behaviours through big data analytics.”

Privitar says it is already working with unnamed financial services firms, as well as telcos and Internet of Things specialists, and, ultimately, aims to act as a "stamp of approval" for companies which demonstrates good data security and privacy practice.

Says investor Glocer: "Operating all over the globe, Reuters has long been concerned with balancing privacy and access to high value data. As the last two chief executives of Reuters Group PLC, Sir Peter and I recognise the significant commercial value of Privitar's innovative technology."

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