AT&T’s latest mega buyer knowledge breach — 74 million accounts affected — laid naked how a lot knowledge carriers have on their customers, and likewise that the information is there for the hacking. On Thursday, a startup referred to as Cape — based mostly out of Washington, D.C., and based by a former govt from Palantir — is saying $61 million in funding to construct what it claims can be a way more safe method: It gained’t be capable of leak your title, tackle, Social Safety quantity or location as a result of it by no means asks for these within the first place.

“You’ll be able to’t leak or promote what you don’t have,” in keeping with the company’s website. “We ask for the minimal quantity of non-public data and retailer delicate credentials domestically in your machine, not on our community. That’s privateness by design.”

The funding is notable partially as a result of Cape’s enchantment to customers shouldn’t be but confirmed. The corporate solely got here out of stealth 4 months in the past, and it has but to launch a industrial service for customers. That’s resulting from are available June, CEO and founder John Doyle stated in an interview. It has one pilot mission in operation, deploying a few of its tech with the U.S. authorities, securing communications on Guam.

The $61 million it introduced Thursday is an aggregation throughout three rounds: a seed and Collection A of $21 million (raised when it was nonetheless in stealth mode as an organization referred to as Private Tech) and a Collection B of $40 million. The most recent spherical is being co-led by A-Star and a16z, with XYZ Ventures, ex/ante, Costanoa Ventures, Point72 Ventures, Ahead Deployed VC and Karman Ventures additionally taking part. Cape shouldn’t be disclosing its valuation.

Doyle attracted that investor consideration partially as a result of his previous roles have included almost 9 years of working for Palantir as the top of its nationwide safety enterprise. Previous to that, he was a particular forces sergeant within the U.S. Military.

These jobs uncovered him to customers (like authorities departments) who handled the safety of non-public data and privateness round knowledge utilization as important. However, extra entrepreneurially, in addition they bought him fascinated by customers.

With the massive focus that knowledge privateness and safety have at the moment within the public consciousness — usually due to the numerous bad-news tales we hear about knowledge breaches, the encroaching actions of social networks and many questions on nationwide safety and digital networks — there’s a clear alternative to construct instruments like these for peculiar folks, too, even when it seems like that is perhaps unattainable as of late.

“It’s truly one of many causes I began the corporate,” he advised For Millionaires. “It seems like the issue is simply too massive, proper? It seems like our knowledge is already on the market and all these other ways and there’s actually nothing to be achieved about it. We’ve all adopted a discovered helplessness across the potential to be linked, however have some type of non-public, some type of management over our personal knowledge, however that’s not essentially true.”

Cape’s first efforts can be centered on offering eSIMs to customers, which Doyle stated could be offered basically on a pay as you go format to keep away from the information {that a} contract may entail. Cape on Thursday additionally introduced a partnership with UScellular, which itself gives an MNVO overlaying 12 mobile networks; Doyle stated that Cape is speaking with different telcos, too. Initially, it’s unlikely to bundle that eSIM with any cellular units, though that is also not off the desk for the long run, Doyle stated. Nor will the corporate present encryption providers round apps, voice calls and cellular knowledge, at the very least not initially.

“We’re not centered on securing the content material of communications. There’s a complete host of app-based options on the market, apps on the market like Proton Mail and Sign, and WhatsApp and different encrypted messaging platforms that do a great job, to various levels, relying on who you belief for securing the contents of your communications,” he stated. “We’re centered in your location and your identification knowledge, particularly, because it pertains to connecting to industrial mobile infrastructure, which is a associated however separate set of issues.”

Cape’s not the one firm available in the market that’s attempting (or has tried, past-tense) to deal with privateness within the cellular sphere, however none of them has actually made a mark to this point. In Europe, latest efforts embody the MVNO Murena, the OS maker Jolla and the {hardware} firm Punkt. People who have come and gone embody the Privateness Cellphone (FreedomPop) and Blackphone (from GeeksPhone and Silent Circle).

There’s already the choice to purchase a pay as you go SIM within the U.S. anonymously, however Cape factors out that this has different trade-offs and isn’t as safe as what Cape is constructing. Though funds for this is perhaps nameless, a person’s knowledge remains to be routed by the community infrastructure of the underlying provider, making a person’s actions and utilization observable. You can too nonetheless be open to SIM swap assaults and spam.

For a16z, the funding is turning into part of the agency’s “American Dynamism” effort, which this week bought a $600 million boost from the newest $7.2 billion in funds that the VC raised.

“Cape’s know-how is a solution to long-standing, vital vulnerabilities in at the moment’s telecom infrastructure that impacts every part from homeland safety to shopper privateness,” stated Katherine Boyle, normal accomplice at a16z, in an announcement. “The staff is the primary to use this caliber of R&D muscle to rethinking legacy telecom networks, and are nicely positioned to reshape the best way cellular carriers take into consideration their subscribers — as clients as an alternative of merchandise.”