January 21, 2020

“Right to be forgotten” startup launches in the UK

By Ellen Daniel

A company aiming to “trigger a data ownership and control revolution” by helping people to discover what information organisations hold on them has launched in the UK.

Mine uses machine learning algorithms to help people find the information company’s hold on them through online services, downloading apps and making online purchases.

According to Mine, the average consumer has 400 companies in their digital footprint, with 80% no longer used.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes a “right to be forgotten” clause, which means that individuals have the right to have their personal data erased (in certain circumstances). However making a “right to be forgotten” request can be a complex process.

That is where Mine comes in. The company analyses users’ email inboxes, without reading, collecting or storing email content, and identifies companies that may have stored or collected their data.

Mine then sends requests to companies on behalf of users, asking a company to delete the individual’s records from their system.

Mine takes on right to be forgotten

Gal Ringel, co-founder and CEO of Mine, who has extensive cybersecurity experience, believes that there is now a greater demand for services like this now that there is a wider awareness of data privacy:

“We are entering a decade where people are increasingly concerned with how intrusive everyday apps and platforms have become. Therefore, we decided to invest our efforts into building a solution that will provide consumers with a real choice about who gets to keep their data and how it’s used. We are kick-starting the future of data ownership.”

Mine has raised $3m in seed funding, backed by Private equity company Battery Ventures and venture capital company Saban Ventures.The company has already analysed 4 million online services and has made 20,000 data reclaim requests.

Currently, the service is free, but the company has plans to operate on a subscription model in the future.

David Hoffman, Global Privacy Officer at Intel Corporation, said that companies such as Mine are helping users take control over their data:

“Mine is solving one of the most urgent issues in privacy: allowing individuals to exercise more control over their data. Mine’s role will have an impact on the wider digital economy, where increasingly, trust and transparency can be established between individuals and companies. Intel believes privacy is a fundamental human right and technologies like Mine play a critical role along with legislation in realising the promise of optimising for the ethical and innovative use of data.”

Read more: What is the right to be forgotten, the law dividing Google and the EU?

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