Three young Israelis who previously served in military cyber units have figured out how to locate your digital fingerprint and give you the tools to remove it.
Mine, co-founded by Gal Ringel, Gal Golan and Kobi Nissan, says it uses artificial intelligence to show users where their information is stored, such as whether an online shoe store retained your data after a purchase. sneakers three years ago.
Ringel said Mine’s technology has already been used by one million people around the world, with more than 10 million “right to be forgotten” requests sent to companies using the company’s platform.
Mine was launched after the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – now an international benchmark – defined the main rights of users, including the deletion of personal data that has been shared with a site for a limited purpose.
The company’s artificial intelligence technology analyzes the subject lines of user emails and reports where the data is stored.
Individuals can then decide what information they want deleted and use Mine’s email template to exercise their right to be forgotten.
That means they can remove their digital footprint “with the click of a button,” Ringel said.
“We’re not telling people not to use Facebook or Google. We’re saying go ahead, enjoy, use whatever you want,” he said.
“But since you love using the internet, we’ll show you who knows what about you, what they know about you…what’s the risk” and how to remove it, he added.
Last year, hackers broke into the database of Atraf, an Israeli LGBTQ dating site, using personal information for extortion.
The previous year, Shirbit, a major insurance company, had been hacked and troves of data stolen.
Despite these breaches and more minor offences, Naama Matarasso Karpel of advocacy group Privacy Israel said the public was relatively indifferent.
She also criticized Israel’s privacy laws as inadequate to meet today’s online challenges.
“Privacy is a bit like health or air – we don’t really feel the need for it until we really see how much we lack it,” she said. .
Although public awareness of the right to privacy has been slow to catch on, she said many companies are realizing that better privacy practices are good business.
“Nobody wants to be caught off guard,” said Matarasso Karpel.
Companies are beginning to see privacy “as a value that must be maintained in order to build trust with customers,” she added.
Mine co-founder Ringel said companies contacted his company for help with the “difficult and tedious” process of locating and deleting the information, in accordance with the right to be forgotten.
“We help companies automate this process without any human intervention,” he said, reducing their effort and costs.
But lawyer Omer Tene, co-founder of the Israel Tech Policy Institute, warned that removing specific individual requests was “a complicated technical exercise”.
Some companies and organizations cannot legally delete information such as blockchains or records of financial interactions needed for tax purposes.
Even information that can be deleted is often retained with varying degrees of identifiability, Tene said.
“All of this nuance makes it difficult to keep a promise from both the consumer side and the business side, to enable removal at the push of a button,” Tene warned.
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© 2022 AFP
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