We met with Andrea Giannangelo, CEO of Iubenda, and Simon Schmid, Product Owner, to have them explain Compliance 2.0 in a world where rules are changing fast.
The Story of Iubenda
Andrea Giannangelo, in the face of the 2011 "Privacy is dead" declaration by a Zuckerberg at the height of his career, decided to continue undaunted with his idea, working on a market that did not yet exist: that of privacy. This, because at the time Andrea already sensed that privacy would become an increasingly central issue.
From that moment on, a 10-year climb began made of the relentless work of two partners, Andrea and Domenico Vele, CTO and co-Founder of Iubenda. Andrea was looking for someone who believed in the project and had great experience on the technical side. Despite the age difference, Domenico decided to trust the young Andrea and dedicated himself with him to the project.
Thus began the transition from start-up to the company that, today, protects the privacy of hundreds of thousands of digital realities.
When Italy passed the cookies law in 2015, Iubenda became a "real" project, and people began to realize that privacy was an increasingly present need. A realization that became even stronger in 2018, with the arrival in Europe of the GDPR on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data, with which all states are complying. In fact, Switzerland also passed the specific Data Protection Act (DPA), or nFADP - new Federal Act on Data Protection in parliament in 2020, which aligns Swiss law with the GDPR and will officially be in force from September 1, 2023.
At the end of 2021, part of Iubenda was acquired by Team.Blue: a Belgian company in the top 3 of domain distribution, a deal that will pave the way for Iubenda to have millions of domains. Quite an achievement!
"We are happy but if we retrace the road backwards, we are aware of how challenging it all was. Nothing is given away, what we have today is the result of continuous experimentation and reworking of the product, of a team of enthusiastic people who put all their knowledge and desire to grow."
- Andrea Giannangelo
Along with Andrea, during the interview, we met Simon Schmid, Product Owner of Iubenda, who told us how the "magic" works.
It's about turning our legal knowledge into a finished product. First, there is a lot of research work, once we process the information, we have to figure out if there is a structure of what we want to create. The basis of our work is as follows: we try to extract the most stringent rules so they can be applied more generally, but the user has choices about the level of compliance they want to achieve. There are fairly standard formulas, such as the classic cookie banner formula, but the variables are endless. Moving on to rule writing, however, ours is a real layering job: we control the text trying to simplify the rules as much as possible, but without distorting them. In the end there are multiple layers of the same banner based on the amount of information we have.
In essence, Iubenda's recipe for success is a combination of tenacity, constant optimization, and a system that brings technology and automation together with what is most human in this world: the law.
When we started there were no role models; the first players began to appear after the advent of the cookie law. There are two facts to keep in mind: the first one is that in the markets in which we operate, compliance is an expensive service, whereas our product is directly commensurate with the size and need of the client. The other one is the opinion that many competitors have of us: people say that our service is unreliable because it is automated, but in fact it is much more human than you imagine, in a custom service like Iubenda it is indispensable.
The Iubenda Team
Currently, the Team consists of more than 100 people divided between customer care, marketing, sales and development and is completely remote: a solution that does not preclude talent from around the world from joining the team. It is precisely the belief that talent has no nationality that is one of Iubenda's biggest growth drivers: the company realized that hiring internationally would help it achieve its goals.
Of course, there is an in-house legal team of about 10 people, which in turn works with a network of experts who enable legal coverage in every country where Iubenda operates or plans to operate in the future.
To create cohesion and opportunities for exchange despite the geographic distance, Iubenda organizes up to two retreats a year: a nice opportunity to strengthen the sense of belonging to the company and build an increasingly passionate and motivated Team.
Is privacy really dead as Mark Zuckerberg said in 2011, or is there still hope to feel protected in one's privacy and choice to share only what we want?
We at the Ander Group Team believe that, with the support of the right professionals, the privacy of the individual user can still be protected, while still providing companies with the data they need to optimize their digital strategies.
Would you like to have a user-friendly, GDPR- and nFADP-proof site?