Ep. 147: Reinventing Identity Verification and Data Security with Eli Wachs

In the latest episode of Bridging the Gap, Matt sits down with Eli Wachs, co-founder and CEO of Footprint, to dig into the world of data security, privacy, and the future of identity verification. They delve into cybersecurity, discussing how the reckless dispersion of personal data across multiple platforms has created a large playing ground for fraud activity seeking the least secure link in our data chains. Privacy is not about a massive deletion of data but about establishing stricter control over data access and purpose.
Their conversation brings to light how technological advancements have caused an urgent need to manage and rebuild trust in the digital ecosystem. The episode continues to delve into the shift from the idealization of big data to the growing public inclination to reclaim authority over their personal information. As Eli dives into the story behind Footprint, Eli reveals his point of realization from utilizing data for predictive models to the responsibility of securing it. Addressing the social concern, Matt emphasizes that rebuilding trust starts with small, immediate actions.
As people continue to delve into the advances technology has offered, they simultaneously recoil at the thought of personal details floating in cyberspace. Matt and Eli contemplate how people can foster a digital environment that makes life easier without compromising security. This episode of Bridging the Gap wades through the past, present, and future of our digital identities, serving as a relevant discourse for anyone invested in the safety and sovereignty of their personal information.
Timestamps From This Episode
[12:50] Footprint assists companies in securely collecting sensitive data, particularly for applications requiring user onboarding. It addresses the challenge of managing and storing such data without cybersecurity expertise, considering the unintended accumulation of sensitive information in various business ventures.
[22:39] Centralized data and its significance. Eli gives examples of challenges faced in building technology with multiple players involved in acquiring bank information for budgeting.
[28:22] Eli emphasizes the importance of individuals being able to use their own data to improve their financial options, citing the example of a company called Pinwheel that helps people verify their income to access better loan options.
[39:33] Taking risks is often less risky than perceived, and people tend to underestimate the differences in the risks they are taking compared to the status quo. It’s important to recognize that resistance to change may skew our perceptions.
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About the Show

Bridging the Gap is a financial podcast hosted by CEO Matt Reiner focused on bringing together leaders from the finance and the technology industries to focus on innovating the financial services industry.