Over the past few weeks, our team has been working very hard. We gathered company’s update and latest industry news for September.
TrustElevate has opened a seed fundraising round which will close mid-October. This round will be run via the platform Crowdcube and is expected to last for 6 weeks. We are intending to raise £850,000. To learn more about our commercial model, financial forecast, see our one-pager and our Investor FAQ. To be part of our exciting future, contact our founder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Market Update: Fast Growing Safety Tech Sector
TrustElevate is an active part of a cohort of companies that the UK Government has identified as part of an emerging Safety-Tech sector, which it is actively supporting. According to a recent report titled 'Safer technology, safer users: The UK as a world leader in Safety Tech', the UK's rapidly-growing safety tech sector is helping make the online world safer for millions of people. In 2019, the sector generated £226 million in annual revenue and has grown rapidly with an estimated 35% yearly growth rate since 2016.
The Safety Tech report anticipates the UK is likely to see its first safety tech unicorn (a company worth over $1 billion) emerge in the coming years, with three other companies also demonstrating the potential to hit unicorn status in the early 2020s. That unicorn is TrustElevate.
Age Appropriate Design Code
At the beginning of the month, the UK’s data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office, had its Age Appropriate Design Code come into force. At its core, the Code aims to address practices concerning data protection. In seeking to remedy common problems with the processing of children’s data, the ICO has put forward a set of 15 standards. Of these, perhaps most significant is the requirement to ensure that the best interests of the child are the primary consideration when designing and developing online services.
In Section 3, which concerns Age Appropriate Application, the code asserts that service providers must “take a risk-based approach to recognising the age of individual users and ensure you effectively apply the standards in this code to child users.” Age assurance and verification are at the heart of the issue; if platforms do not age check their users, they cannot adhere to the Code and deliver age appropriate content and services across the board.
Landmark Case Brought Against YouTube for Mishandling Children’s Data
A landmark lawsuit has been brought against YouTube for £2bn: “YouTube routinely breaks UK and European privacy laws, unlawfully targets young children with addictive programming and harvests their data - without obtaining the prior consent of the children’s parents or guardians” argue the claimants.
The claim has been made by Duncan McCann, on behalf of more than 5 million children under 13 years old, alleging that YouTube has breached data privacy laws. It is claimed that the breaches were made regarding the targeting of underage children, the absence of “practical user age requirements” and the platform’s having made “no adequate attempt to limit usage by youngsters”.
This lawsuit is expected to have a massive impact on the ways in which Google operates with regard to children’s data and to reshape the ways in which industry views data protection regulation as enforceable.
The representative law firm has created this website to provide further information to those interested and the opportunity to register as claimants to parents with eligible children. Mr McCann believes that damages of between £100 and £500 should be paid to those whose data was breached.
Tech Companies To Pay $100,000 under COPPA
A pair of California-based tech companies will pay $100,000 after it was found that the companies illegally collected children’s data without parental consent.
Under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), platforms that are directed toward children may not collect personal information from them without first obtaining parental consent. But the Attorney General has stated that the companies did not obtain that consent.
As a result, one of the platforms in question has changed its procedures, now requiring users to confirm they are over 13 years old before creating an account and has changed the default profile and messaging settings to private. In addition, it no longer maintains user’s geolocation data.
Commercial Update: Go Live Date 2020
In Q1 2020, TrustElevate, in partnership BT, the UK's largest ISP, completed a series of UK Government-funded trials. BT and TrustElevate continue to work together with a global systems integrator toward a Go Live date Q4 2020. We are harnessing significant market traction. In addition to BT, TrustElevate is in active conversations with several social media, gaming and streaming companies as well as banks and fintechs. Our Go-to-Market strategy involves working with all ISPs and mobile operators in each of our markets so we can scale rapidly.
COVID-19 Highlights the Urgency of Online Harms and the Clear and Present Need for Companies to Deploy TrustElevate
Organisations, including the FBI, UN and NCA, are warning that because Facebook, Google and other sites have sent human moderators home during COVID-19, the exposure of children to harmful content and contact online is skyrocketing. The content that moderators face is so sensitive that companies, including Facebook, require them to work in secure facilities and sign waivers for PTSD, so moderators can't work from home. The result is that levels of child abuse images are circulating unchecked and online sexual grooming of children is increasing rapidly, as is its normalisation.
Those platforms and services deploying TrustElevate's technology know the ages of their users, which significantly enhances the ability to keep children safer online by, preventing adults with a sexual interest in children accessing online spaces in which children interact and serving age-appropriate content. TrustElevate's technology has the power to transform the internet into a place that respects children's right to a safer place to grow up.
In addition to operating in the UK, our EU base is in Estonia, which is one of the most advanced countries in the world for Digital Identity. We are also working with governments and clients in France, Malta, and Ireland. We are in discussions regarding a GoLive date in Malta in Q1 2021.
How You Can Help
We are very excited about the commencement of our fundraising round in the coming weeks. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to find out more about it and we would love it if you could share with others the news about this next phase in TrustElevate’s journey by retweeting this tweet.
Welcome to the newest members of TrustElevate's Advisory board!
Jason Tooley is a proven, high-profile technology senior executive with a 30-year track record of successful business leadership and sales performance, out-performing competitors, across global technology sectors and regional markets.
Aidan Quilligan is a highly experienced and accomplished senior executive, with a 31-year career at Accenture, most recently focused on Digital technology and business transformation. Aidan specialises in “accelerating to scale” - taking businesses in new spaces from small-scale, niche plays up to billions of dollars and tens of thousands of people.
TrustElevate has a stellar team in place, and we are excited about an addition to our tech teams. We are hiring a CTO to lead the product development. They will hire, mentor and manage a team of engineers and architects and support our rapid business growth. With this new addition, we hope to bolster our technical capability as well as incorporate new energy in the company!
To find out more or apply, please click here.