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…files patents for innovative W3C Platform for Privacy Preferences standard-compatible product…

Abattia Group Limited, a UK-based specialist in Membership Relationship Management (MRM), today announced that it is to license its ground-breaking data privacy technology, Consensus Wrapper, to third parties, including vendors, developers and ISPs. This technology enables companies to control, authorise and automate the use of personal data. It allows organisations both to offer individuals a secure service according to their preferences for the disclosure and use of personal data, and to comply with privacy regulations such as the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 and European Directive 95/46/EC.

Abattia’s Consensus Wrapper is applicable to any system that holds personal data, requires a high level of user comfort, is subject to data protection legislation, or aspires to high privacy standards. It is particularly suitable for use in applications that intend to implement the future World Wide Web Consortium Platform for Privacy Preferences standard, currently in draft form. Abattia will offer technical support to all licensees.

Abattia’s decision to license its Consensus Wrapper technology follows successful filing of additional patent applications last week at the European Patent Office, in the US, and in Canada. These claim the same priority date as Abattia’s original application, made in the UK in January 2001. The UK’s Patent Office has performed an initial patent search based on this earlier application and no prior application or patent came to light. As a result, Abattia proceeded with the additional filings.

Benjamin Van Every, Managing Director of Abattia comments, “Regulatory requirements are getting tougher - it is high time for businesses and other organisations to face the music on privacy issues. But more importantly, it simply makes good business sense to act this way. In our experience, people - customers, stakeholders, the public in general - care about how personal data is used.

“Building strong relationships with a public that is increasingly savvy about data protection issues requires that businesses and other organisations act professionally, responsibly and legally as trusted custodians of all this personal data. The silent majority gets irritated but does no more than delete spam - and change its allegiance. It is not just a legal issue: the real cost of not dealing with data protection effectively could be much higher than just bad publicity, wasted management time, legal costs and stiff financial penalties.”

The Consensus Wrapper data privacy technology is relevant to any situation where it is necessary to offer the end user consensus or mutuality within a software product, or where there is a community to be supported, requiring identifiable users, who have been authenticated, and their identity verified.

Further features enable the implementation of “Social Protocols”, whereby the application user and the application provider can negotiate the terms under which the application is used, and in particular how the user's data will be collected and the purpose for which it will be used. It also provides support for transactions such as mutually settling terms of business, actively abiding by them, verifying that the other party does so, and varying the terms. The data and the terms of business are also protected against unauthorised and undetected changes.

Consensus Wrapper is already in use in Abattia's flagship product, webALUMNUS, a web-based alumni relationship management solution, currently due for roll-out in Q1 2002. Beta users include Dulwich College, Winchester College, Latymer Upper School and King's College School Wimbledon.

Abattia will continue to use the technology in its own in-house products, namely web-based MRM software applications enabling interactive peer-to-peer and community relationship management in four vertical sectors: corporate, club, academic and charity.

About Consensus Wrapper

Consensus Wrapper is a blueprint specification for producing computerised systems that hold personal data. The specification determines how both the database and the business-level processing should be designed to ensure the data is handled in a data protection compliant manner. It gives a means of providing data items stored in a database to its authorised users in such a fashion that they can be confident not only that necessary restrictions regarding data protection and “privacy” are being observed, but that an individual’s preferences regarding the disclosure and use of his personal data are followed. This personal data might include name details, contact details, family details, health details, financial details, lifestyle details, life stage details, life event details, demographic details, details of the individual’s relationship to the holder of the data, qualitative comments relating to the individual, or any other personal data, including photographs and other video or audio media, or any computer executable object.

Abattia's developers have since built a series of meta-tools that, when provided with a database schema, automatically produce the business-level code required by the Consensus Wrapper. These tools have cut the build effort for Abattia’s own product, webALUMNUS, by 80%.

About Abattia

Abattia focuses on Membership Relationship Management (MRM), and is a market-led developer of web-based MRM software applications and provider of high quality, value-added MRM consultancy services. The company aims to establish itself as a key enabling resource for membership organisations in four vertical sectors: academic, corporate, club and charity, to bring together and hold together their membership bases. The potential size of the company's annual market is estimated at over £1.2 billion in Europe alone.

Abattia is a fast-growing, London-based company, organised around four tightly integrated divisions - MRM Products, MRM Consultancy, Marketing Strategy & Research, and Corporate Functions. Founded in February 2000, the company is privately owned.

Information about the W3C Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0 Standard and Deployment Guide

Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0(P3P) is a W3C draft standard for automating privacy procedures and making privacy policies transparent to users. P3P lets firms publish Web site privacy policies in a machine-readable syntax so that privacy practices can be automatically checked by users' systems. In addition, site information can be read by a visitor's Web browser, which analyses this data and compares it against the browser user's privacy preferences. The user is then informed whether or not the site meets their privacy requirements.

The Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.0 Deployment Guide is designed to help Web site operators deploy this standard. The guide explains what is involved in deploying P3P, how to develop and communicate privacy policies, and offers step-by-step instructions


For further information, please contact:

Sarra Mander
PR for Abattia
020 7494 6570

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