Hello, please introduce yourself!
I'm Lauren and am currently in Business Development at Bitfount. Originally, I'm from California in the US, but am hoping to make London my permanent home. Interests include: Data ethics, business memoirs, walking all over London, and forcing my friends to eat my mediocre attempts at being a master chef and baker!
What does your role as Business Development at Bitfount involve?
A bit of everything! I'm primarily responsible for ensuring our commercial and product strategies are aligned such that we can attract and retain users of the Bitfount platform.
How did you get into this field?
Participating in our society socially and economically has come to require us to share a LOT of data with companies and public sector bodies with which we interact. Unfortunately, this data can be abused to discriminate against us or create anti-competitive industry structures which do not contribute to the overall benefit of humankind. That said, there is also a tremendous amount of value to be gained from data collaboration. My personal mission is to contribute to a solution which allows us to unlock that value safely and at scale.
This drive came from my previous work in AdTech where I became fascinated by how much consumer data flows from party to party on a regular basis. As a data privacy and competition law nerd who witnessed how companies technically came into compliance with GDPR as it was going into effect, I became interested in the gap between the letter and the spirit of the law. That's why I became increasingly interested in how privacy-enhancing technologies could offer embedded technical enforcement of privacy, such that we don't need to rely on just regulatory interpretation and compliance to try to mitigate the risk of data abuse or discrimination. And here we are!
What challenges are you working on right now?
My primary focus is in recruiting people to use Bitfount's platform and join our community (help me out? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
What are the most important benefits that you believe data collaboration can bring, from a (business + sustainability) perspective?
While there are certainly a number of stories we hear about successful data collaboration, I still think people fail to realise how much data is currently inaccessible to people with the talent to make the most of it for furthering innovation in their fields. Historically, there was no great way to share access to sensitive data without putting data subjects at risk. With privacy-enhancing technologies, we are starting to see this is possible -- We have the potential to unlock a number of use cases, especially in the life sciences, public sector, and energy industries, which would have a massive impact on our ability to piece together solutions to the world's biggest problems, while still protecting the individual right to privacy.