There is a new era of technology and modern techniques that do not pertain to one particular industry. Moreover, the advancements in one industry and sector are trickling down and improving the standards and techniques of related industries too. Thus, the opportunities and possibilities in the coming times are endless and their applications and uses are even more exciting. Such is the concept and uses of IoT (Internet of Things). It refers to a system of interrelated, internet-connected objects that can collect and transfer data over a wireless network without human intervention. Personal or business possibilities are endless.
Roy Smith, CEO at AgeCheq has provided everyone with a solution and an impeccable service in this domain. AgeCheq has provided feasible and efficient solutions in IoT and also providing software-as-a-service (SaaS). They have revolutionised the industry with their work and changed the way one looks at these services. With top-notch products to offer combined with the latest techniques, meeting the utmost standards and providing best in class quality. AgeCheq under the expert leadership of CEO, Mr Roy Smith has carved a name for themself in the industry and earned a solid reputation as one of the best in the field.
In a conversation with the CEO of AgeCheq, Mr Roy Smith. Let us find more about his company, his journey and a few things in between.
- Kindly brief us about the company.
AgeCheq was founded in 2013, originally to provide child privacy compliance tech to the mobile gaming industry, but we pivoted in 2015, rebranding as PrivacyCheq in response to the much larger market opportunities in IoT and increased privacy regulation in the EU (GDPR), US (CCPA) and elsewhere (LGPD in Brazil, for example). Today we provide transparency and consent management tech for companies from SMEs to global multinationals. The AgeCheq brand continues to refer to our COPPA and CCPA child privacy compliance services.
- Reasons you feel pushed the company in the right direction and gave it the reputation and success it truly deserves.
We expected the enforcement of GDPR (which began in May 2018) to be the inflection point, and we did initiate a potentially huge partnership and book some business when that happened, but lack of enforcement (see 2) led to very slow adoption after the initial early adopters. In the past 12 months, there have been many big privacy fines (notably $5B fine to Facebook), coupled with the inception of CCPA in California leading 16 other states to enact similar regulations, leading to a “perfect storm” of interest in user-facing privacy compliance – our speciality.
A belief that our mission was valid and dogged persistence. We stuck to our core founding competency while we waited for this market to mature. Complying with any of these new privacy regulations is a massive undertaking, impacting all aspects of company operations. We launched our first IoT privacy product in September 2015 as a response to the FTC’s emphatic scolding of the consumer IoT market for poor privacy management at the 2015 CES show. Despite lacklustre industry response that we attribute to no enforcement, we have continued to innovate in the IoT space, offering solutions for GDPR and CCPA.
- Tell us about what the products/services your company offers and how your company is different.
For EU IOT vendors, we offer a complete SaaS transparency and consent management platform called ConsentCheq. This service administrates all the required interactions with users, including delivering friendly privacy notices, gathering and conserving user preferences, facilitating daily data processing in line with user preference, including to third/fourth/fifth parties, and finally logging all activity to enable compliance to be proven to regulators. ConsentCheq is a “one-stop” integration that handles GDPR for EU users, and soon, LGPD for Brazilian users. For IoT vendors with a US footprint, our new service, PrivacyUX for CCPA is specifically for enterprises that need to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and its successor, the CPRA (Prop 24).
We are not aware of any privacy compliance technology companies specifically targeting the IoT market. Our services differ from competitors in many ways:
- We have designed these services from the consumer’s perspective, giving the best user privacy management experiences.
- Over 60% of all user interactions use mobile devices today. PrivacyCheq is the only company on the market that has optimized its user experience for mobile devices.
- The vast majority of consent management tools in the market built their solutions on browser cookies, a technical mistake that became apparent in 2020 as Google obsoleted third-party cookies due to privacy concerns, leaving 90+ services with no viable future. When we designed our platform, we chose a secure central database with API architecture that has none of the problems facing cookie systems.
- Are there any products in the line, anything exciting you wish to share.
We strive to understand our market and its trends very deeply, even to the point of having a “Futurist” in our staff. Typically, we will predict a shift and be ready with a product feature or marketing message before the shift occurs.
With over 500,000 California enterprises covered by the new CCPA (now being enforced) and a need to show customers quick response as a way to build trust, last week we launched PrivacyUX LIVE START for CCPA, a rapid integration solution for CCPAs new “just in time” notices requirements. This low-cost service can be configured and implemented within days, providing notices that users quickly understand because they use the “Nutrition Facts” paradigm everyone knows from food products. Anyone can see a live demonstration on their smartphone by texting “CCPA” to 717-467-3214.
- Sufficient about the company, can you please tell about yourself and your journey, achievements, etc.
I’m a lifelong entrepreneur, since 1985 when I co-founded Turtle Beach Systems to create music products. Today that company is the #1 provider of headphones for games (NASD:HEAR). A few years after exiting when the Apple iPhone was gaining popularity, I founded appMobi as a mobile app development company and exited by selling to Intel in 2013, which is when I used my knowledge of the mobile gaming market to see the privacy compliance opportunity that became PrivacyCheq. Long ago, I was a coder who also did “biz guy” stuff, but my role now just involves strategy, management and marketing.
I’m very proud of the companies I helped create, and the fact that the culture we created and maintained at those companies was enjoyable and productive for everybody. Many of the people who worked at Turtle Beach still stay in touch on social media and tell me it was the best job they ever had because they were respected and there was a fun atmosphere. I enjoy fatherly pride that Turtle Beach is a worldwide brand that was created on my kitchen table in 1985.
He is highly inspired by the business story of Ken Olsen, founder of DEC. Ken’s entire success was built on creating a smaller, cheaper version of the IBM mainframe computers that ruled computing in the ’60s. He was very successful and DEC was considered the market leader in Minicomputers. When presented with the idea of a Microcomputer that would cost only a few thousand dollars and be used in the home, Ken rejected the idea, leading to DEC not participating in the PC revolution. It’s my goal to never be Ken – always keeping an open mind to what the market is telling you, even when it’s not what you believe.