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More privacy safeguards with world-first data marketplace

By Sean Mitchell
Mon 12 Sep 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Most of us are blissfully unaware of the data exchange’s that are happening between large companies in our society. For example; Retailers providing huge amounts of data to external loyalty schemes. We often don’t think that the convenient new services we’re being offered involve this sort of data exchange and matching between two or more organisations.

Data Republic is a start-up founded in Australia that wants to make sure these exchanges occur with the highest possible security and privacy standards.

Last month they launched a world first data marketplace. They explain it as a home for organisations to list, exchange and collaborate on data exchange projects in a secure environment.

Two large Australian banks and an airline are investors in Data Republic. Those cornerstone investors are also cornerstone contributors and users of the new data marketplace.

Paul McCarney, co-founder and CEO of Data Republic, says the Open Data Marketplace will help solve the challenges organisations face when trying to negotiate access to proprietary data.

“The lure of significant productivity and social benefits has driven an increase in government open data policies and data sharing among corporates,” he says.

“This trend does not come without risk. The Open Data Marketplace redefines the way data is exchanged by removing the existing risks associated with commercialising and exchanging data by putting privacy, security and the rights of the consumer first,” explains McCarney.

An organisation that wants to join the marketplace will have significant security, technical and legal obstacles to jump. Then once they're accepted, they access what looks like an AppStore of different datasets. These would combine matched data from multiple parties within the marketplace.

Participants in the exchange make official requests to each other via the marketplace for access to the data. The supplier of the data would then set rules around privacy, cost and possible uses.

This means that organisations can confidently exchange and analyse data in a secure and privacy compliant environment.

McCarney says their technology was built with consumer advocacy in mind and is also governed by consumer privacy law.

"Only anonymous de-identified data is available in the marketplace, with personal information encrypted and separated from Data Listings and stored in Databank, a bank-grade security service we developed with Westpac," he says.

With major brands already listing data on the Open Data Marketplace, McCarney emphasises that fostering the underlying industry of data exchange would unlock value in the Australian economy.

"There are significant productivity and social benefits that are already being unlocked as the open data trend continues, however, to remove risks and respect the expectations of consumers, the market needs to adopt best practice and be sensitive to regulations around data exchange," he explains.

“In doing so, organisations can improve decision-making, solve business challenges and develop customer-led innovation.”

Data Republic has chosen to partner with big data system vendor HortonWorks, who provide massively scalable solutions around storage, governance and security of this crucial data.

You can read more about HortonWorks here.

The Open Data Exchange has launched in Australia and will soon be launched in the United States.

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