Planetway: Empowering Users to Maximize the Value of Data

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Noriaki Hirao, founder, and CEO, PlanetwayNoriaki Hirao, founder, and CEO
Though corporations aggregate personal data of individuals, their preferences, and their areas of interest on the simple pretext of providing tailored campaigns, products, and solutions, the value of individual data is far greater than what it seems. Such a value is not quantifiable by simple matrices but is defined by individuals themselves. Mr. Hirao and his organization— Planetway—are proponents of the idea that user data belongs to those individuals and not organizations that aggregate them for various purposes. “While there are several IT infrastructures that offer greater convenience to everyday life by collecting relevant information, people need to rethink and understand the value of their data and how it is being handled,” begins Noriaki Hirao, Founder, and CEO of Planetway.

In light of these circumstances, Planetway aspires to bring the actual value of data back to the hands of individuals. The company provides IT infrastructure that allows the exchange of information, as authorized by owners of information in real-time. Quite recently, at Davos 2020, Mr. Hirao presented this proposition of data sovereignty with a human-centric vision, empowering users to provide real-time consent to use their information.

“Why should only GAFAM companies, or any other BIGData companies exclusively benefit, and not pass on some benefit to the individual, for which their activities gain value?” he argued at the summit. This proposition also highlights a highly critical norm within the society; people worldwide are now used to accepting others obtaining ownership of their data without a second thought. At a fundamental level of data privacy, this trend presents a grave danger to the utilization of information, which is often unclear to the masses who consent to the aggregation of information. More importantly, with digitalization becoming a necessity in the IT world, most large companies are focused on ‘leveraging IT infrastructure’ without an ethical or moral perspective.

At Planetway, Mr. Hirao and the team believe this is unfair, offering an alternative to empower individuals.” The major difference between Planetway and other data infrastructure providers is the fact that Planetway is not a data aggregator; rather Planetway upholds a core data ethic that users own all personal data and have the right to personal data privacy,” says Mr. Hirao. Planetway understands how big data and governments regularly exploit individual data, and as a result, offers an alternative solution to realize freedom and privacy for the individual

A Consent-based Infrastructure

The leaders at Planetway believe that GDPR and CCPA are good examples of public policy that protects individuals, and therefore should be taken as a guideline for corporations that seek to benefit from data aggregation without ethical or legal infringement. However, the reality of the circumstance is entirely different within classic data perspectives, wherein users are seldom aware of how their data is being utilized by organizations that collect them.’ To that end, Planetway provides end-user consent-based infrastructure that satisfies the legal and ethical requirements of both the corporation and the individual. PlanetCross enables businesses with any legacy database, including the cloud, to be connected securely over the internet. Furthermore, Planetway’s contemporary solution—PlanetID—can be integrated to provide individuals with authentication and consent rights to how their data is utilized from their mobile device or browser in real-time with confirmable records, efficiently satisfying emerging and established legal frameworks.

A noteworthy aspect of Planetway’s solutions is their architecture. By definition, centralized databases are high-risk because no single security instance is perfect, highly expensive to establish and maintain, even for large profitable companies.

The company’s PlanetCross solution solves this issue by connecting heterogeneous databases with a secure tunnel and connector to confirm or exchange data under a universal language rather than aggregating data in a single location. As most existing data in the world is split between the government and private enterprise databases at multiple levels, PlanetCross allows secure communication between all of these without the substantial expenditure and the subsequent hardship of centralization.

On top of the PlanetCross exchange layer sits PlanetID, the universal ID application that allows individuals to manage personal information and transactions of personal data between government and private enterprise databases, no matter how decentralized, via their mobile device or browser at their convenience. PlanetID provides a sense of control for the individual while empowering enterprise and government with traceable records of consent and i n f o rma t ion updates. Collectively, Planetway differs from other data infrastructure companies by not retaining or aggregating individuals’ data beyond a numerical ID (PlanetID) and a data-transaction and consent history log. Instead, Planetway retains none of the data transaction content and does not conduct any data analysis beyond transaction traffic. However, via the PlanetCross platform and the data management app PlanetID, individuals can choose to access third-party services in exchange for rewards should they wish to do so. Likewise, third-party platforms can analyze on a consent basis using Planetway’s platform, all the while satisfying ethical and legal requirements.
  • Due to the success of this flagship customer, other customers are now conducting their proof of concept trials of PlanetCross and PlanetID, and we expect them to reproduce or even exceed such results


People’s Privacy Above All In all

In all of its technological endeavors, Planetway has demonstrated exceptional customer-centricity. The company collaborates with enterprises that uphold this ideology while serving humanity at large. Case in point, Planetway is the only private enterprise to utilize the Estonian e-government data infrastructure platform X-Road, the only data infrastructure platform in the world that securely sustained to thwart a Russian cyber-warfare attack. Since PlanetCross is well suited for use outside of Estonia, Planetway has adapted this platform as a key driver for the private sector. No other platform or database in the world can claim such durability under directed cyber-attack while being scalable to grow at a rate of 500x transactions –statistics recorded since its production deployment in 2019. Figuratively, this accolade correlates to a 500x increase in transactions in a short span of two years.

Reflecting on a recent engagement, Mr.Hirao shares a client’s success story, which highlights a similar value proposition as the above. “Our flagship customer, a Japanese utility with many legacy systems, had the non-unique challenge of connecting many different databases between its numerous group companies, each of which had a different infrastructure of varying age.” Classic database integration, while possible, is very costly and inherently insecure due to aging legacy systems, and Planetway, therefore, was recognized as a lower-cost and lower-risk solution to total infrastructure overhaul. With PlanetCross, the client could process queries over their entire network (in parallel) six times faster and at an 84 percent network cost reduction. They could also do so without making significant changes to legacy database infrastructure or security or data breaches. “Due to the success of this flagship customer, other customers are now conducting their proof of concept trials of PlanetCross and PlanetID, and we expect them to reproduce or even exceed such results,” exclaims Mr.Hirao.

The major difference between Planetway and other data infrastructure providers is the fact that Planetway is not a data aggregator, rather Planetway upholds a core data ethic that users own all personal data, and have the right to personal data-privacy


A Broader and a More Global Vision for the Future

Numerous such collaborations are a testament to Planetway’s technological competency and the exemplification of its spirit to scale higher as customer requirements grow. For instance, as challenging as Japan is for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, and even more so with leading-edge technology startups, Planetway would have had realized success sooner if it had decided to engage in other, more startup-friendly markets. On the contrary, the company regards the lessons learned in Japan as hard-fought achievements. “Planetway found success in Japan with our flagship customer, which combined with modern global challenges, has forced us to focus on our core business and key customers. This newfound focus has allowed us to achieve a transaction growth of 500x in two years on a single instance of PlanetCross, giving us confidence in promoting our solutions PlanetCross and PlanetID to our customers.”

Building on its success streak, the company is strategically planning to grow beyond Japanese horizons and into the US market with a possible NASDAQ IPO shortly. If conducted, Planetway would be the first Japanese startup to take such an initiative in the US, demonstrating a new, bold, Japanese startup culture.
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Company
Planetway

Headquarters
San Jose USA

Management
Noriaki Hirao, founder, and CEO

Description
Planetway provides IT infrastructure that allows the exchange of information, as authorized by owners of information in real-time.

Planetway