Privacy technology company raises $7.5m in funding

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Irish-founded Ethyca, has raised an additional $7.5 million (€ ) in funding as it confirmed it is to makes its privacy technology and tools open source.

The move allows developers to freely embed privacy tools and monitoring mechanism directly into their code bases.

The announcement was made at the Web Summit in Lisbon, where founder and chief executive Cillian Kieran is a speaker.

Ethyca, which describes itself as a “privacy-by-design technology company headquartered in New York. The company has built developer tools, which are collectively known as Fides, that make it easier for organisation to discover sensitive data they hold and manage it, in line with complex data privacy regulations such as GDPR.

Fides is an open-source definition and configuration language for describing privacy constructs in data and software systems. It’s being released with two S tools, Fides Ops and Fides Control, that allow for the orchestration of privacy rights in data infrastructure

and the validation of privacy rules in workflows respectively.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Kieran said the new funding, which takes total investment to date to $27.5 million, will be used primarily to double headcount at the company. Ethyca currently employs 44 people and is hiring at a rate of five to ten people a month.

The fundraise extension was led by existing investors including Lee Fixel, Lachy Groom’s LGF and Bill Ackman’s Table Management.

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“I can’t overemphasise how important what we have done today is. We are making three-years worth of work available for anyone to use. Doing this is a fundamental change from the current privacy technology space, which relies on solutions aimed at legal experts and leaves developers to retrofit them onto already-deployed products and services,” he said.

Mr Kieran said he did not see making the company’s technology open source as a risk in terms of potential lost revenues.

“I think this is a very rational think to do. Rather than taking a big risk what we are doing is upending an industry that is reliant on licensing,” he said. “In doing what we’re doing, we are on a five-to-ten year journey ship a better set of tools to solve data privacy problems properly.”

Mr Kieran said a number of major technology companies in the Fortune 500 have signed on as design partners for Fides.

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