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The Nascent Market for Privacy Tech

Analysis. Wire. Disconnect. Startpage. Protonmail. TomTom. HelloClue. These are all companies which can be categorized as part of a new and growing market for ‘Privacy Tech’ aimed at consumers. Data Gravity, Privacy Perfect, Privacy Cheq and One Trust are part of a just as growing and new market for B2B privacy tech helping companies comply with privacy laws. Europe should work hard on paving the way for these new markets to prosper both within the EU and as a huge export possibility.

“10 billion private searches and still counting”. Such were the words of founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg of DuckDuckGo, a search engine that does not track your searches, in mid January 2017 when the alternative search engine reached the masses and growing faster than ever.

DuckDuckGo is just one of many new products and services serving the growing privacy-conscious audience, who wants to take back control of their own data and identities online. Along with a growing number of other data ethical companies (who sell other products and services but use data responsibly) we are seeing a whole new market for data ethics and privacy tech aimed at consumers.

Wire, Wickr and Signal provide chatapps that dont monitor your messages. FindX, Qwant and Startpage let you search without tracking. Disconnect, Adblockfast and Better helps you block efficently for tracking-cookies. Meeco and and CitizenMe to take control over your data. TOR and Fakenamegenerator to go undercover. Protonmail and Startmail to email without getting ads based on your email messages. TomTom lets you track your health and keep the data for yourself and HelloClue lets you track your fertility without a risk of having your sensitive data sold to third party.

Tools for Privacy Professionals

Apart from the many privacy tools aimed at the consumer there is a huge growing market for tools for companies to manage their data in a responsible way and comply with the upcoming Euroepan data protection regulation, GDPR. That being tools for data mapping, consent mangement, de-identification, privacy impact assessments and other risk assessments. According to the Privacy Tech Vendor Report 2017, commissioned by the organization of privacy professionals IAPP, not surprisingly, many of the new privacy-technology companies are based in Europe.

The report states: This rise in privacy technology is great news for privacy professionals. There are now options for a number of needs. Whether it’s focused for consent management, or a more broadly, like privacy program automation, there are solutions out there. The caveat is that purchasing privacy technology, in general, will involve a new learning curve for the profession.

Europe’s Big Chance

Much privacy tech is based in Europe. And this is where Europe has a great chance to develop a new industry which can also export out of Europe, as many citizens in more repressive regimes will want theses tools, and other countries like Japan, South Korea and Canada also have strict data protection laws and therefor a possible export marked. Europe could embrace, push forward and support this new market for privacy. Neither The US nor China, who are both pursuing the winner-takes-it-all-in-data-approach will that approach and humans in the center of innovation. In stead their approach will create even more digital distrust and throw consumers in the hands of the Europeans companies who understand to give consumers control over their own personal data.