When the Black Tiger Group acquired Bisnode Belgium on 31 March this year, the Paris-based software publisher knew that it was leaving its bags in a strong European Union country and, what's more, in the city that is home to many institutional headquarters. From the European Commission to the Council of the Union, via the Parliament or the European Council, this destination, more than any other, provides an environment conducive to the deployment of the strategy of ethics in the use of personal data advocated by Black Tiger for more than a decade.
A strong heritage
Long before the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation, there was Bisnode France. A sister company of Bisnode Belgium, acquired in 2014, which began a long and prolific transformation into the publisher and expert in the exploitation of personal data that Black Tiger is today. The convictions around the need to respect citizens in the use of their personal data have been the spearhead of the Black Tiger strategy since its genesis. Long before the EU Regulation 2016/679 or GDPR came into force, the French publisher's products were geared towards an ethical and fair use of citizen/consumer data.
"Citizens have legitimate concerns about how their information is stored and processed by companies. We have been advocating Ethic Data since 2014 because it is now necessary for software companies to be aware of the risks associated with the use of data and to take them into account. Technology must remain above all at the service of citizens." Anne-Tania DESMETTRE - CEO Black Tiger at the announcement of the entry into force of the GDPR
The entry into force of the GDPR on 25 May 2018 marked the end of one era and necessarily the beginning of another. It is above all the qualification of the very nature of personal data that has changed. Used until now without being considered as a raw material, it has been transformed into a high-risk material that can have substantial consequences for the data controller, its subcontractors and, naturally, the citizen. As a result, companies have had to face new issues, in particular how to maintain their activities and customer relations, taking into account the new status of personal data and being aware of the possible impact on their customers.
In order to give companies and citizens the means to pursue their relationship in a harmonious manner and in accordance with the principles of the regulation, the response had to be technological. A godsend for a publisher for whom citizen freedom has always been at the heart of its strategy.
If ethics has not always been at the heart of concerns, it will henceforth be necessary to make it an inseparable component of the company's strategy and to approach the GDPR as an opportunity to regain proximity with citizens, but also as a real chance to differentiate oneself on a given market. Companies that can certify their GDPR compliance have a definite competitive advantage over a player who is not, and even today, few are truly compliant.
From thought to technology
With the support of Lexing Alain Bensoussan, a law firm specialising in digital law and advanced technologies, and a consultation with the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), Black Tiger asked itself a simple question: "How do you implement the 99 articles of the GDPR law in a technological platform? Where many market players have adopted an exclusively legal response, Black Tiger, as a technologist, has been able to place the information system as the centrepiece of the compliance equation. To this end, the publisher has developed a technical method called "GDPR as Code" which guarantees full compliance with the regulation by focusing on the fundamental principles and rights set out in the law and in particular on the management of risks to the privacy of data subjects. Currently, Black Tiger offers its clients the possibility of measuring and anticipating risks regarding the use of personal data through a complete GDPR compliance method directly embedded in an operational solution. This performance reflects the company's vision, which is based on three inseparable values: ethics, transparency and innovation.
A blue and yellow future
The acquisition of Bisnode Belgium, the current leader in data driven marketing and customer data enhancement in the Belgian market, will allow Black Tiger to establish itself directly in the land of Paul-Henri Spaak with the objective of becoming a European leader in personal data expertise with a high level of ethics in its exploitation and GDPR compliance. It is with this aspiration that Bisnode Belgium will begin its transformation to Black Tiger Belgium and will benefit from the latest technological developments and Black Tiger's own GDPR expertise. In this sense, the company, which now calls itself European, hopes to be able to quickly offer its Belgian partners the same standards of ethics and compliance that have always been the rule within the company and thus continue to serve the interests of Belgian and European citizens in the best possible way.
"I am very happy to welcome Bisnode Belgium to the Black Tiger family, convinced that the union of our strengths and expertise will be a great step forward in the growth of both companies. We have a very clear vision on personal data and the major role of the GDPR and will be able to accelerate the development of our platform and our service offering. Our clients will be able to rely on us in this new data era. Anne-Tania DESMETTRE - CEO Black Tiger at the announcement of the acquisition of Bisnode Belgium