We’re thrilled to announce Fides, an open-source description language and toolset for privacy. Named for the Roman goddess of trust, Fides lets developers make privacy a feature of any tech stack. Read our CEO Cillian’s letter on why we believe Fides can forever change the field of privacy engineering.
On behalf of our team at Ethyca, I’m excited to share two large announcements today-
First, Ethyca has raised an additional $7.5M in funding from LGF and Table Management. This new capital is all about supporting the next phase of Ethyca’s privacy roadmap: providing lightweight open-source developer tools for privacy.
This is a vision that started three years ago and is coming to fruition today.
The funding news coincides with the most exciting announcement in Ethyca’s story. Today we’re announcing the first release of Fides, a lightweight open-source description language and toolset for privacy to make it a natural feature of any tech stack.
Fides, pronounced “fee-dehz”, is named after the Roman goddess of trust. Fides is associated with an ethos of reciprocal honesty that we believe is innate to humanity, yet has been difficult to naturally achieve in software development — until now.
Fides is a lightweight description language based on YAML that you can use to declare privacy characteristics of your applications, datasets and broader tech stack. It’s already used by developers at some of the world’s leading software companies, and their input is invaluable in shaping these tools for the wider developer community.
Since the beginning of this journey three years ago, we believed that any viable solution to privacy must be open-source. Until now, privacy has been the preserve of legal and policy experts or a handful of highly-specialized privacy engineers that understand policy, human computer interaction, and software development.
The complex and siloed nature of privacy responsibilities in a business makes good Privacy by Design difficult to ensure in every system. In order to make good on the idea that every user on earth has a right to control their personal information, privacy must be a default feature of every tech stack.
An open-source, community-driven approach allows us to work together to define a standard we can all adopt. With Fides, we’re simplifying the complexity into a language and tools that automate the most important tasks for making safer software.
It’s our belief and ambition that Fides can form the basis of a commonly adopted standard to simplify privacy for developers and their users.
In this first public release, Fides is ready to support the difficult privacy challenges faced by software and data engineers. Fides is intentionally lightweight, making it easy for developers to describe data and data privacy-related characteristics of software in human-readable YAML files managed in Git.
This allows you to create definitions of privacy that can be versioned, evaluated for risk, and used to automate privacy operations on your infrastructure.
You can build policies that are centrally managed by the Fides web server to automatically enforce privacy declarations on your CI pipeline, ensuring your business requirements are met.
You can create a definition of privacy in each project, run reports for what categories of data are being processed, and ascertain context (such as what purpose the data is being used for and who owns it) — all directly in the project.
Once your application is deployed, Fidesops can build an identity graph from the Fides declarations to automate complex data privacy requests such as access and deletion, with configurable control for data and engineering teams.
Historically the privacy problem has been managed with complex legal frameworks, privacy policies, and data agreements, which product and engineering teams had to parse to synthesize features in their tech stack.
We believe the power to build respectful technology rests with the developer community, and Fides represents the first brick in a foundation of tools that must be freely-available and easily-understood to make privacy, respect, and trust a default layer of every tech stack.
As I look to the future with the team at Ethyca, I’m boundlessly optimistic. I believe our community of product, software, and data engineers can build incredible technology that respects the rights of every human being and provides a more trustworthy digital ecosystem for the world to use.
Today is just the first step in Fides’ public journey. We’re already incredibly excited about the capabilities that will be introduced in the coming months. If you’d like to learn more or contribute to the project, you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Join us at github.com/ethyca/fides.
Ethyca hosted its second P.x session with the Fides Slack Community earlier this week. Our Senior Software Engineer Thomas La Piana gave a live walkthrough of the open-source privacy engineering platform, Fides 2.0. He demonstrated how users can easily deploy Fides and go from 0 to full DSR automation in less than 15 minutes. If you weren’t able to attend, here are the three main points addressed during the session.
Introducing consent management in Fides 2.0. With the coming state privacy laws in 2023, your business needs to have granular control over users’ data and their consent preferences. Learn more about how Fides can enable this for your business, for free.
Ethyca launched its privacy engineering meetup, P.x, where Fides Slack Community members met and interacted with the Fides developer team. Two of our Senior Software Engineers, Dawn and Steve, gave presentations and demos on the importance of data minimization, and how Fides can make data minimization easier for teams. Here, we’ll recap the three main points of discussion.
We enjoyed two great days of security and privacy talks at this year’s Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, aka SOUPS Conference! Presenters from all over the world spoke both in-person and virtually on the latest findings in privacy and security research.
At Ethyca, we believe that software engineers are becoming major privacy stakeholders, but do they feel the same way? To answer this question, we went out and asked 337 software engineers what they think about the state of contemporary privacy… and how they would improve it.
The UK’s new Data Reform Bill is set to ease data privacy compliance burdens on businesses to enable convenience and spark innovation in the country. We explain why convenience should not be the end result of a country’s privacy legislation.
Our team of data privacy devotees would love to show you how Ethyca helps engineers deploy CCPA, GDPR, and LGPD privacy compliance deep into business systems. Let’s chat!Get a Demo