The last 20 years, the Internet has been the Wild West. A land grab for interesting concepts. A free for all for information sharing. Between public opinion and government action, when GDPR came into effect last year – that era ended.
Internet security is a well-known threat. Despite security measures companies put in place, headlines pop up daily about a new attack and stolen or compromised personal and financial data. The Equifax breach brought the data privacy topic into our living rooms.
The implications go well beyond compliance. Online data privacy practices correlate with security risks, ethics, and a company’s bottom line. In fact, our Privacy Misleader board called out Capital One for poor practices months before the company’s massive breach was discovered.
When the Facebook scandal happened, it became painfully obvious that our fundamental rights to privacy were at stake. The average person doesn't understand where their personal data goes in terms of how websites and service providers use and share it. This truth was evident during Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional hearing when members of the U.S. Congress questioned the company’s privacy practices. We had a light-bulb moment. If even the lawmakers lacked essential knowledge about how data is stored and shared, surely business leaders must be confused.
That’s when the idea for Osano was born.
Osano is a diverse and growing team of attorneys, technologists, and business leaders who live and breathe data privacy. We aim to create societal good by empowering businesses and consumers who use or build Internet services with knowledge and transparency into how their private data is shared, with whom, and why.
We’ve spent the last year building a machine-learning based system to automate data privacy around the web. We created the world’s first data set that objectively measures the data privacy practices for more than 7,000 companies. Our algorithms look at many details, including transparency, whether a company collects unnecessary data, how long they store data, and how easy they make it to remove any data.
Earlier this year, we launched Privacy Monitor, a free browser plugin and mobile app that helps consumers manage their privacy when dealing with websites, software vendors, and other service providers. And today, I’m proud to announce the availability of our SaaS-based managed data privacy platform, which helps companies better manage risk.
Osano helps companies decide which vendors they want to work with, comply with regulations like GDPR or the upcoming California privacy law, and efficiently collect and store consent for verification. Keeping up with this type of information used to be a manual, complicated process. With Osano, you can see all your SaaS vendors, privacy scores, data transfers, and risk factors in an instant. Finally, an easy solution to data privacy!
Ultimately, we help marketing, sales, and compliance teams work better for the greater good. And we're doing it all as a B Corporation, putting people before profits. When a company buys from Osano, it means they are being more transparent in how they deal with online data privacy. It means they think twice about the pixels on their websites and what data they collect and store. It’s a small step in making the Internet a better place as a whole. And that’s something we all can get excited about for sure.
It's an exciting day for Osano. I am humbled to be working with my good friend and co-founder Scott Hertel again. Many thanks to our team members, customers, and investors who helped us get here. We look forward to sharing more over the coming months.