AI data reclamation startup Mine raises $3m

Mine founders Gal Ringel, Gal Golan and Kobi Nissan / Photo: Daniel Singer

The Israeli startup lets users regain control of their data and delete sensitive information on company websites.

Israeli AI privacy and data reclamation startup Mine has come out of stealth and announced that it has raised $3 million in a seed financing round from Saban Ventures and Battery Ventures. Mine is also one of the 10 companies that will participate in Intel's new accelerator program. The company has 10 employees.

Mine is confronting one of the biggest problems in the digital age, in the large amount of our personal data amassed by a range of organizations like Facebook and Google about our everyday behavior and through to companies that have our credit card details. Although there is greater awareness about the threat from Facebook and Google, we often forget about having given our credit card details to so many people.

Mine is trying to restore control of data to the users it belongs to and let them reclaim it. The startup was founded in 2019 by CEO Gal Ringel, CTO Gal Golan and CPO Kobi Nissan. Ringel and Nissan are graduates of the Israeli army's 8200 intelligence unit where they dealt with cybersecurity, while Golan has experience with data analysis and strategy at companies like Accenture.

Ringel told "Globes," "Companies are sitting on mountains of information and they are gathering so much personal data because they can. But eventually all these companies are hacked and it is we the users who pay the price. I checked out my data and discovered that in a hotel somewhere there were my credit card details and passport number. We found out that on average there are 400 companies that possess private information about each user."

He added, "With 80% of these sites the user had a one-time interaction and receives no value from the data kept there. We want to help the user, and to enable people to enjoy the Internet without being scared. So we also talk about 'ownership' and not 'privacy.' Come and see what companies are doing with your data and we'll support you all the time. Buy Adidas sports shoes but one second after you receive the package, we'll remind you to cancel the details."

So how does Mine know where a user has left his personal data? Its methodology involves scanning emal and looking for possible services - a welcome mail from Airbnb, an electronic ticket from EasyJet or a mail from a financial company. These services are cross-referenced with a company's privacy policy, in other words what data they keep about customers (credit card details, address, passport and ID numbers etc.).

Ringel said, "First of all if the service that is registered is hacked, we'll update you. Average users have 12 services that are hacked and they haven't a clue about it. We'll explain to them in simple language what to do to protect their data. 18 months ago there was a breach at genealogy company MyHeritage. What could be the problem there? We found that most of the people who want to recover their password on various sites are asked for their mother's maiden name and what is the name of their grandmother. It's information that doesn't seem sensitive but yet could lead to theft."

So to delete our personal data, we have to give you access to our email, which is one of the most important things for us.

"We have developed machine learning that lets us identify clues without entering the mail or keeping it."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 22, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Mine founders Gal Ringel, Gal Golan and Kobi Nissan / Photo: Daniel Singer
Mine founders Gal Ringel, Gal Golan and Kobi Nissan / Photo: Daniel Singer
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