In conversation with our sciencepreneurs: Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros for digitalUs
16 June 2021
While most Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions operate under a proprietary data silo mode, digitalUs has developed solutions dedicated to compliance officers to launch searches upon request with no data being stored locally. Discover how the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust’s spin-off to be is moving out of the lab.
Whenever you go online, you leave a digital trail of information footprint. It says where you’ve been, how long you’ve been there and what you’ve been doing. Whenever you sign up for an online service, send an email and upload your photo, this personal information is accessible and therefore adds to your digital footprint.
From this initial observation, Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros developed a proof of concept, backed by Luxembourg National Research Fund’s JUMP programme, along with business partners, to test AI-based technology to reliably match various public data-sources for any given person to compute a comprehensible digital profile. digitalUs is set to empower compliance officers with additional risk intelligence data making the most of the wealth of data that is publicly available to produce a unified digital footprint.
From the idea to the proof of concept
After Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros completed his PhD at the University of Luxembourg, he started working on a project that aimed to de-anonymise online users by trying to link information they made publicly available to other media sources.
“The original idea emerged with a group of friends who were using social media and apps. We were all very surprised to see how much data we could find on each other. Combining all digital sources, we were able to build an entire profile using our digital footprint.“
“I was working on a project that aimed to de-anonymise online users by trying to link information they made publicly available to other media sources. It soon became clear that this linking process could be applied to a plethora of sources, from social media and other public sharing platforms to obscure forums and leaked information.“Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros
As a postdoc, Beltran was involved in a Horizon 2020 project about regulatory working with compliance officers. Being faced with KYC procedures, he realised that compliance officers met the same data collection challenges.
The researcher applied to FNR’s JUMP programme to create a proof of concept testing an AI-based technology to reliably match various public data-sources for any given person to compute a comprehensible digital profile. Soon, he realised that combining data sources for one unique individual allows to create a public digital profile that includes commercially exploitable information.
By starting with a small amount of data on a user, and through multiple search and match iterations, we were able to augment the initial data to generate a user’s online public footprint.Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros
digitalUs to empower compliance officers
The digitalUs technology developed at the SnT provides a solution to automate, and significantly speed-up the background screening process of individuals. It relies on a novel methodology to match the same entity across multiple publicly data sources.
digitalUs empowers compliance officers with additional risk intelligence data. We are automating the entire process of searching online, putting data together and therefore reducing the manual work.Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros
GDPR by design, digitalUs can launch searches upon request and no data is stored locally. The solution is powered by unique technology, tested during the research phase, that taps into the wealth of data, publicly available, including watch lists, business registers, social media and much more, to produce a unified digital footprint.
digitalUs is co-founded by a team from the University of Luxembourg.
Meet the digitalUs team
Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros
Co-Founder and CEO
Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros is co-founder and CEO of digitalUs.
Co-Founder and CTO
Georgios Varisteas is a postdoc with a decade-long industry experience as a software engineer in tech giants such as Microsoft and IBM. He provides the expertise and excellence required to design, build and scale the digitalUs service.
Co-Founder and CPO
Oxana Turtureanu, fresh out of the innovation and entrepreneurship master programme and with five years of experience in compliance in the banking sector, is very familiar with the customer pain points and ensures our product is polished to meet the customer needs.
Raphaël Frank, co-founder of the first spin-off at SnT, provides the experience and know-how of launching a successful product in Luxembourg.
digitalUs is set to be the next SnT’s spin-off, being launched in October 2021
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