Data protection startup Anonos raises $50 million for PII anonymization

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For all too many organizations, processing customer data has become both a legal obligation and an asset. While the collection and processing of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) can help unlock new insights, it also leaves the door open for costly compliance obligations. Unless an organization has a solution to anonymize it.

Data protection provider anonoswhich today announced it has raised $50 million in growth funding from Aon and GT Investment Partners, has sought to address these challenges by building a platform to obscure PII.

Anonos’ Data Embassy solution uses a combination of legal pseudonymization, synthetic data, and other computational techniques to protect customer identities by decoupling personal data from direct and indirect identifiers, such as the user’s name or address.

This approach aims to balance concerns about data utility and protection, to ensure that enterprises can process PII for data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning purposes without imposing regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). violate and schrems II.


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Surviving data protection threats by de-identification

The announcement comes as organizations have found it increasingly difficult to process and collect insights from their data without violating data protection regulations.

One of the most notable examples of this occurred earlier this year when meta warned that it may be forced to withdraw its services from Europe due to uncertainty over the legality of data transfers between the EU and the US.

In the current regulatory environment, any exposure of PII data can be extremely financially damaging because: Morgan Stanley Smith Barney learned after receiving a $35 million fine for improperly deleting PII data from approximately 15 million customers.

More and more organizations are finding that collecting and processing PII to generate insights significantly increases legal risk.

“Data-driven enterprises have been unable to get the most from their data assets due to privacy and security constraints,” said Gary LaFever, co-CEO and general advisor, Anonos.

However, by removing potential identifiers from PII, organizations can continue to gain accurate insights from rich datasets, while ensuring that data cannot be re-associated with an individual user’s identity or device.

To this end, tools such as Data Embassy provide a mechanism for de-identifying personal data so that companies can process it in a manner that is consistent with international data protection regulations.

“Other vendors have tried to address this issue, but we believe Anonos’ 10 years of R&D at Data Embassy is groundbreaking for organizations that depend on accessible, yet compliant and uninterrupted data supply chains,” said LaFever. “The technology’s 26 international patents granted and more than 70 additional patent assets form the backbone of this funding that takes us to a new level of business execution.”

A look at the data protection market and de-identification services

The data protection market has grown rapidly since the GDPR came into effect in 2018, with researchers valuing it at $49.72 billion in 2016 and predicting it will reach $119.95 billion by 2022.

It’s worth noting that Anonos isn’t the only provider to offer corporate data de-identification capabilities.

google Cloud Data Loss Prevention (Cloud DLP) enables organizations to create an automated data transformation pipeline to identify sensitive data through the use of de-identification techniques such as tokenization and pseudonymization. Google Cloud has also announced revenue from more than $6 billion earlier this year.

Another provider trying to address this challenge is: IBM. IBM InfoSphere Optim Data Privacy uses a range of transformation techniques to mask and obfuscate PII, and integrates with the Information Governance Catalog to provide 30 out-of-the-box data classifications and 30 data privacy rules.

IBM recently announced $15.5 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2022.

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