The news that Israeli spies played a role in Cambridge Analytica’s illegal enterprises was not all that surprising — after all, plenty of Israeli ex-intelligence officers have used their know-how for less than exemplary work, such as Black Cube, a firm founded by ex-Mossad officials, which followed Harvey Weinstein’s accusers.
But some Israeli tech firms are using their powers to protect, rather than invade, privacy.
The emerging field of “cyber privacy” is growing in Israel. In 2017, Haaretz singled out 57 cyber privacy startups based in Israel that are dedicated to protecting social media users’ private information from abuse by the platforms they use and trust. These new companies include such diverse products as SaferVPN, which gives internet users an anonymous IP address to safeguard information from hackers, and Kimpi, an app that alerts parents when their children receive threats on social media. Financial investment in online privacy has more than tripled in recent years to $13.5M according to the outlet, making it a fast-growing part of Israel’s technology sector.