Dermot Williams Talks Privacy for SaaS Companies at WebSummit 2019

web summit 2019

Threatscape CEO Dermot Williams joined Calvin French-Owen, co-founder and CTO of Segment, on stage at WebSummit 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal for a fireside chat to discuss data security, privacy and how the next generation of SaaS companies can ensure they build their products with a privacy-first culture. The WebSummit opening night ceremonies had included a live video interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden who warned of the threats of mass surveillance and data collection.


Williams commented that people often confuse security and privacy – explaining that a security concern in relation to personal data might be ‘can someone steal my personal data from Facebook?” whereas a privacy concern might be “can someone BUY my data from Facebook?”.  He and French discussed how companies not only need to earn the trust of customers by handling personal data responsibly, but must also ensure they comply with increasingly stringent privacy regulations. French-Owen described how his firm’s technology can connect over 50 data sources from which SaaS companies may be capturing personal data to over 250 destinations where they may wish to store, process or analyse it. Clients include IBM, P&G and Deliveroo. This gives Segment a keen insight into how companies are processing personal data – and how they have adapted to new regulations. He commented that Segment currently handles over 450 billion transactions involving personal data records per month (over 250,000 per second) and have processed 7 million “deletion requests” since the European GDPR data privacy regulations came into force in 2018.

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