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Qonsent, a New York-based data privacy and consent engagement platform provider, today announced it raised $5 million. Qonsent uses an encrypted and auditable ledger-based system to help brands maintain a record of customers’ consent to meet CCPA, GDPR, CPRA compliance requirements, and other applicable privacy laws.

Qonsent says it uses an approach called Qonsent Graph to track consumer behavior, which is designed to help brands and marketers understand what experiences, offers, and value exchanges will enable a two-way dialogue to rebuild transparency and consumer trust.

Despite digital transformation across enterprises today, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, data privacy and ethics remain an issue for organizations, as privacy and consent requirements are changing with new laws emerging. Gartner predicts that 65% of the world’s population will have its personal data covered under modern privacy regulations by 2023 — up from 10% in 2020.

Qonsent was built to make first-person consent easy by putting the power over personally identifiable information (PII) back in consumers’ control, according to the company.

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Qonsent CEO and cofounder, Jesse Redniss, shared details about the company’s platform and its differentiation in the privacy landscape in an exclusive interview with Venturebeat.

Driving transparency through better consumer experiences

Redniss noted data privacy and ethics are the top priority for governments, brands, and consumers going into 2022, especially because of changing consumer behavior, as well as upcoming regulations and laws. Redniss said Qonsent saw a pain point between consumers and brands that have been eroding consumer trust and putting brands in a precarious position.

“Our goal is to empower every consumer to understand why, how, where, and when their data is being used as well as stored, while also giving brands a means to regain consumer trust and provide superior customer experiences,” Redniss said.

Qonsent claims it provides consumers with real-time, comprehensive insight into how brands collect, use, and store their personal information based on clear value exchange. “We think about our solution from a consumer standpoint,” Redniss said.

“We want to build a better consumer experience so that consumers and brands can build a relationship on transparency that drives trust, leading to long-term relationships built on value,” said Redniss.

Ensuring data privacy

Redniss said that part of Qonsent’s approach to the market is looking at how to solve different issues that the industry has as a whole, including issues like identity resolution and how to measure your reach. According to Redniss, these two things are associated with consumers’ PII data, which is protected in the world of data privacy.

“You can’t measure something if you don’t know who you’re measuring. You can’t understand who you are measuring in the digital world unless you have some type of digital footprints like IP address, email, cell phone number device ID, which are all PII,” said Redniss.

Qonsent claims its solution works wherever brands engage their consumers, including via distributed consent UI/UX products that are integrated into existing privacy enablement and marketing technology offerings. “We didn’t see any product in the marketplace that helped brands and platforms create a near real-time identity verification service,” said Redniss.

A new era of trust

Qonsent says its product will build trust and a connection between organizations and loyal consumers by replacing outdated, unregulated, and now illegal data collection approaches like data scraping and universal cookies — offering a new solution for all those marketing to consumers. The Qonsent Graph uses things like real-time validation, smartqontracts, and a QR reader to provide what the company calls “granular insights in a compliant manner.”

While Qonsent’s product encompasses a back-end data privacy platform, business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) white-labeled consumer UI and UX products and services, as well as a consumer application, the company says its solution is also easy to integrate with other SaaS platforms. Consent can be integrated and deployed with popular SaaS platforms like Salesforce, Snowflake, Oracle, Adobe, and Amazon Web Services to provide a turn-key solution for marketers, the company says.

Qonsent’s inked partnerships with privacy leaders like TransUnion and Ketch will help underpin the end-to-end consumer-first privacy solution, the company says.

This funding round was backed by Zekavat Investment Group,  Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Kassan, Tom Chavez, CrossCut Ventures, Brand New Matter, Marc Debevoise, Lunch Partners LP, and other leading investors.

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