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Why I’m joining Opaque

Jay Harel
5 min read

After years of building and shipping products in various areas of the tech industry, I decided to join a company that set out to enable the widespread adoption of strong privacy measures and make a real impact in the world. With so much of our personal data now being stored and processed by any number of companies and organizations, the likelihood of it not leaking is vanishingly small.  

My family thinks I’m paranoid, but if the slew of recent breaches taught us anything, it’s that our personal data is transferred, stored, and used in ways that don’t guarantee its secrecy. The more data gets compromised, the easier it is for hackers to cross-reference our personal information, sprinkle in some social engineering, and take over our assets and identities. In order to avoid going one breach too far, the industry must adopt stronger security standards and methods.

A recent CNBC survey indicates that 26% of global CFOs say that cyber attacks are the biggest threat to their business, bigger than supply chain woes and any number of other potential disruptions. Security spend has been rising for years, and yet the problem seems to only get worse as better-funded hacker groups see an opportunity to leverage off-the-shelf hacking tools and perform targeted attacks or break an entry by leveraging supply chain attacks.

It feels like we’re always one breach away from disaster, be it at the personal or national level. Compromised data can lead to catastrophic consequences. Have I Been Pwned notifies me frequently that my PII has been compromised, making me ever more concerned about the privacy of my and my loved ones’ data. Minimizing our digital footprint, securing accounts with two-factor authentication, and using password managers are all important, but even if our data is sent out in a highly secure way, we have no control over it while it’s being used by the institutions we are told we can trust.

There are myriad ways to protect data when it’s transferred and stored, but securing it while it’s being used sounds impossible. How can you run queries on large datasets or use them in machine learning models while keeping them encrypted and secure? Not only is it possible, but Opaque also figured out how to make it performant and scalable. Our products enable cross-organization distributed AI and inter-organization collaboration on confidential data without exposing it to snoopy onlookers, or worse. We do all this without disrupting the normal course of business, and in fact, enable companies to tap into previously unused data.

You only get a few opportunities in life to join a team that is poised to change an entire industry. If that team is made up of highly accomplished people with deep academic pedigrees and impressive success records, that’s a huge bonus! Opaque is all of these and then some, and I’m honored to have become part of this elite team of thinkers and doers.

If you’d like to join a team on a mission to make privacy mean PRIVACY, come join us!

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