Mine, which is developing a platform that helps discover and manage personal data on the web, today closed a $9.5 million funding round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture firm. The cash infusion comes as Mine prepares to launch in the U.S. following debuts in Israel and Europe earlier in the year. According to a spokesperson, 100,000 users have used Mine’s app to send over 1.3 million data-reclaim requests to more than 150,000 companies to date.
A majority of people in the U.S. (60%) believe their online and offline activities are being tracked and monitored by companies and the government with some regularity, according to a Pew Research Center survey. It’s a sentiment reflected in reports like PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Consumer Intelligence Series, which found that only 10% of consumers felt they had complete control over their personal information.
Mine’s technology discovers companies that are holding data by analyzing email subject lines, as opposed to the actual content of emails (e.g., “Welcome to Facebook” or “Your Amazon Receipt”). Once connected with an inbox, Mine maps all companies a user has interacted with via email, generating visualizations that show the type of data collected and the corresponding risk level. A dashboard provides a detailed overview of this data, along with shortcuts to remove the data from services no longer in use.
Mine’s algorithms identify companies most likely to have collected personal data based on the sender and the number of times they appear in an inbox. (According to Mine, almost 90% of traces can be found through email subject lines.) The platform independently locates and scans these companies’ privacy policies and data structures to determine what kinds of information they’re collecting from users.
An initial scan takes about 30 seconds, after which the system continues in the background. Mine sends a notification and an email once the audit is completed, and the app continuously provides updates about new traces of companies in a footprint. Mine claims users typically have a 40% cleaner footprint at the end of a session. The company claims 15,000 Mine users have narrowly avoided breaches since 2018 by deleting their data right before the breach occurred.
Mine, which is based in Tel Aviv and New York, is currently free to use in 10 languages for Gmail and Microsoft Outlook accounts. The company plans to charge a subscription fee but will for now focus on products that enable businesses to automatically process “right-to-be-forgotten” requests that allows people to demand the deletion of certain data pertaining to them. In May 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) codified right-to-be-forgotten protections into law. This was followed in January 2020 by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which similarly requires that people be able to access and delete data.
“Data privacy is without a doubt a mainstream concern, but most people don’t know how to control who holds their personal data. We want to change this by making privacy regulations accessible and easy for everyone so consumers can set their own terms and draw the line on what data they are willing to share,” cofounder and CEO Gal Ringel said. “By streamlining the right-to-be-forgotten processes, we are bridging the gap between consumers and companies, which will shape a new future of data ownership.”
Mine’s Gradient Ventures-led round included participation from E.ventures, MassMutual Ventures, and existing investors Battery Ventures and Saban Ventures. It brings the company’s total raised to over $12 million.