08. November 2018 · Comments Off on Confidentiality & Privacy are Human Rights · Categories: Society + Politics, Technology + Computing

There comes a time in every human’s life when he/she thinks: “It is time to concentrate on giving back to the society”. At least this is what I believe.

A few years ago that time came for me as well and I started thinking what I can give back.

Most of you know that my background is in software engineering and management in information and communications technology. I’m not an artist, I’m not a creative person such as a novel author, or anything like that.

So, the only thing that I can give back, I thought, was by using my strengths in information and communications technology. This is why, a few months back, we started working on an Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning platform developed and operated in Europe.

Unfortunately, even though everybody we talked to loved the idea and agreed that “… Europe definitely needs to do something like that …” – But when it came down to “… putting the money where the mouth is…”, nobody really wanted to… So, we decided to ditch that because the financial requirements were high enough that we couldn’t implement something like that ourselves and finance it from our own savings (we did, actually, spend over 200 kEUR from our own money before talking to potential investors but still that was not enough).

So, we had to stop that endeavor. While looking for something “… still to give back …”, we did a lot of other communal things, such as helping organize the “Lange Nacht der Demokratie” (“Night of Democracy”) in Munich, and other such events.

But still, I wanted to do something where I could use my strengths.

Then came the request to join a startup as EVP/CTO. I was not sure about it, but listened to what the headhunter and, later on, the founders had to say about their startup, their vision and their dreams.

Here is a Chance

These were not your young, inexperienced founders who wanted to have a quick exit. They had a vision, a dream… they believed in Confidentiality and Privacy are Human Rights. And they wanted to help exercise that human right. They wanted to develop and run a technology service in Europe, for (first) Europe, and by Europeans (metaphorically speaking).

They wanted to give back the ownership of data to the people that generate that data. They were not interested in garnering data about people, users, customers. No, they wanted to offer a service, paid by the users, that guarantees confidentiality and privacy and they wanted it easy-to-use.

They had put their money where their mouth was. They had already invested from their private wealth a big chunk into a startup that had already grown to over 70 people – from over twenty countries.

After a lot of long, very exciting discussions and meetings, I decided to join this company as the first EVP/CTO.

Now, I also have a chance to give back – to the society, with my personal strengths and values. This is not a company geared towards a quick, big exit. This is a company we want to grow, make it profitable and keep growing over time. This is a company where we want to tell people that their data has a value, their privacy and the confidentiality of their communications on the internet is worth paying with a small amount of Euros instead of a large amount of privacy-relevant data.

Facing the Battle

This startup will have large battles – the opponents are Facebook, Google, and so on – companies that let you believe that you get something completely for free. But you don’t, you pay with your personal data.

This company will be fighting, in its early days, a lot of uphill battles. But nobody said that changing the world would be easy. Nobody ever said that battles against incumbents would be easy.

But if one would only fight battles that are easy to win, society would be at a standstill.

It will be tough. It will be difficult. And there will be tears 🙂 … but I believe this is a battle worth fighting.

And that is why I joined Brabbler AG to help the founder’s vision to come true.

Calling for Help

We will need a lot of help in those battles. But it is not a battle with classical weapons. Our weapons will be our brains and our ability to execute, our ability to develop and operate the best possible solutions int he realm of providing confidential, secure and privacy-protection information and communication solutions.

We will need the help of software engineers, product managers, IT operations, security and UI/UX-experts, and more.

Come join us, we have a lot of positions open – in a fascinating environment, where we aim to change the world to be a little bit a better place…

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