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In today’s digital marketplace, data is gold.

However, as businesses continue to embrace cloud technologies and increase the volume at which they collect and share data across environments, data privacy increasingly becomes a  concern for consumers and companies alike.

But, data privacy doesn’t come cheap. In 2020, spending on data privacy solutions nearly doubled at both small and large firms, according to Cisco’s Benchmark Study, with companies allocating an average of $2.4 million to managing privacy-related issues.

One organization that is challenging the notion that businesses need to spend seven figures to keep their data safe from privacy breaches is Ethyca, a New York-based startup that is making end-to-end automated privacy rights fulfillment available for free.

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The big data picture

According to a report from Pew Research Center, nearly 70% of Americans say they feel their personal information is less secure than it was five years ago. Eighty-six percent of respondents have even attempted to decrease or remove their online footprint.

With so much sensitive information stored in personal digital devices, corporate data centers and  multiple cloud platforms, organizations are now under extreme pressure to mitigate risks and keep pace with ever-changing regulatory requirements.

To ensure customer identities stay safe and company reputations remain untarnished, many enterprises are looking for new ways to harness public data while protecting privacy, all of which has led to mounting demand for data privacy tools.

Founded in 2018 by Cillian Kieran and Miguel-Burger Calderon, Ethyca has a platform that aims to provide engineers and product teams with the tools needed to make privacy compliance more accessible.

Ethyca, which works with the likes of InVision and IDEO and which has investors  such as Lee Fixel,  IA Ventures, Lachy Groom, Des Traynor (Intercom), Guillermo Rauch (Vercel) and Table Management (Bill Ackman), took the first step at the end of 2021 towards making privacy-as-code possible for any business with the launch of its Fides open source privacy engineering platform.

Named after the Roman goddess of trust, Fides is a human-readable description language that allows one to write code with privacy designed into it. Using this language, developers can easily locate privacy-related information at any point in the software development process.

“Our goal is to make privacy a default feature of every tech stack,” said Kieran, CEO of Ethyca. “Instead of just checking the legal compliance box, we set out to build a system that truly respects human users and works to restore their trust in the internet.”

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