This fall, in person events were back (with the proper precautions, of course). TripleBlind recently sent COO Greg Storm, Director Partnerships Sam Abadir, and Manager of Marketing and Business Development Mitchell Roberts to Amsterdam for the largest financial services event in Europe: Money 20/20.
There, the team set up shop in this beautifully TripleBlind-branded booth (see picture below), where they met with financial services organizations dealing with data sharing issues that are either halting their current goals or preventing the pursuit of value-adding, revenue generating projects.
At the center of many of these discussions was Greg Storm, who co-founded TripleBlind just under two years ago to address these exact issues. When he wasn’t hosting thought-provoking conversations exploring the in-and-outs of data privacy, Greg interviewed with Open Banking Excellence, a community of Open Banking and Open Finance pioneers, giving his expert opinion on what it will take to allow consumers to gain control over their financial information. You can watch the interview here.
Greg was also invited to participate in a private think tank with industry leaders. The attendees and panelists were hand-picked to discuss the topic: “The future is trustless. What do we need instead?”
Taking place in a cozy speakeasy complete with leather couches, an open bar, and a refreshing absence of glowing screens, the session resembled the Prohibition-era hidden bars in the United States, which attracted people with provisions of banned libations, but sparked incredible discussions on modern issues, as patrons were shielded for just a moment from the distractions of the outside world.
The session was moderated by Dave Birch (Global Ambassador, Consult Hyperion), a well-known thought leader in the field of fintech. Dave asked the panelists difficult questions on the what and the how of trust as it relates to personal data.
Co-panelists Louise Maynard Atem, Research Lead, Women in Identity; Felix Gerlach, CPO & Co-Founder, Passbase; and Katryna Dow, CEO and Founder, Meeco contributed their knowledge and experience gained from varying backgrounds to the future-facing discussion. A report documenting their discussion can be found here.
The learnings were encouraging. The group agreed that something must change to give end-consumers more control over their data. At one point Greg exclaimed, “It bothers me that, in order to view my Uber rating, which is information that should be owned by me, I have to log on to Uber to see it – and if I want to share it with someone else, Uber controls that, too.”
Other parts of the discussion focused on questioning the role of identity verification in the complex modern world. Is proving your identity sufficient or even relevant? In many cases, it is not. Sticking with the bar example, consider a bar looking to avoid serving alcohol to underage patrons. The bartenders do not need to know or care about the identity of the individual, but rather they need to know for certain that the individual is either above or below the age threshold for being served an alcoholic beverage. There are many such examples, begging the question, why is proving identity more important than proving characteristics or facts about oneself? Of course, identity verification still plays a vital role in certain scenarios, but clearly, there is work to be done in this area.
The mechanisms for achieving those results, though, are where things get interesting. How do we give data controls back to individuals without halting progress and innovation? If people have the ability to choose where their data goes and how it is used, won’t they just choose to keep it locked down and private? How do people prove characteristics about themselves without first telling you who they are? That sounds like magic.
That’s where TripleBlind comes in. Our solution allows for data to be “shared” without being transmitted, meaning insights can be gleaned from data that sits comfortably and safely behind a firewall, in the cloud or on premise. In the past, it was impossible to compute over encrypted data without having access to a secret key that decrypts the data. TripleBlind’s breakthroughs mean that the secret key is never even created, and the data is still computable! It’s not magic – it’s mathematically verified one-way encryption. And, it’s the future of data sharing.
By integrating with TripleBlind, platforms designed to allow consumer-control over their data will be equipped with the privacy-preserving tools they need to execute data operations, approved by the consumer, without transmitting any of their data to a third party. Individual features can be proven the same way an identity is proven, in a way that eliminates the trust requirement. Innovation continues, or even accelerates. Privacy is enforced.
It is clear that these problems must be solved in the near future, as the data ecosystem reaches an inflection point on the plot of innovation versus privacy. Listening to experts who tackle aspects of these issues in their daily ventures reinforces that A. the right people are putting their heads together and remaining open-minded about potential solutions, and B. we are getting very close to solving these issues.
We’re excited to be critically involved in this important moment for financial services, and can’t wait for the next opportunity to discuss data privacy with other thought leaders around the world.
If you are interested in further discussing these topics, please reach out to us here!