Danny Weitzner, an MIT researcher who served as Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House under President Obama is hatching a new startup related to data privacy: TrustLayers, which is out now raising a seed round of funding. Weitzner’s co-founder is Adam Towvim, a long-time executive at the mobile advertising startup Jumptap, acquired last year by Millennial Media.
“Just like a balance sheet gives you a window into a company’s financial health, what we’re trying to build is a similar snapshot into how your data is being used,” Towvim says. TrustLayers will let companies define their policies about how data in various databases may be used and combined — not just control who has access to it — and “monitor data usage in virtually real-time, alerting them to potential issues.”
By better monitoring who is doing what with what data, Towvim says, “companies can be more innovative in their use of the data, rather than having your lawyer or regulators scare you into taking the lowest common denominator approach.”
Towvim says TrustLayers is in the process of hiring a CTO. The company’s one hire so far has been Rob MacDonald, a senior engineer who previously worked at Hadapt and Endeca. Weitzner is director of the Decentralized Information Group at MIT, and served as Deputy CTO for Internet Policy at the White House through August 2012.
The startup is operating out of Koa Labs in Harvard Square.
(The photo above was taken by the New America Foundation at a 2012 event.)