Rob Leslie: Protecting Individual Privacy & Preventing Financial Crimes

Rob Leslie, Founder & CEO, Sedicii
Rob Leslie, Founder & CEO, Sedicii

In the information and technology age the importance of privacy is huge. Protecting online privacy is the most essential in the current times. “Privacy is one of the biggest problems in this new electronic age” says Andrew Grove former CEO, COO and Chairman of Intel. Despite digital advances this core internet issue remains. Using a no vel cryptographic protocol known as zero knowledge proof, Sedicii is creating the Kriptan Network to facilitate the verification of identity data without the need to expose the underlying data, thereby protecting the privacy of the person. Sedicii has developed a solution that allows financial institutions to securely share the knowledge they have about clients or transactions, without disclosing the underlying data or information.

For Rob Leslie an individual’s privacy really matters- he considers it is a core human right. Rob believes in hard work, he embraces challenges as he believes that challenges are a part on the journey of success. Rob is the CEO & Founder of Sedicii. Rob considers that if Sedicii can make a difference in people’s lives then his journey will have been worth it. Rob is also mentor with Enterprise Ireland (E.I.) providing advice to E.I.’s high potential start-up companies and he is an active investor in various start-up companies in the technology and biotech spaces.

Huge Potential

Every entrepreneur comes across at least these three challenges – raising investment and getting product to market while proving to their clients they need the service. Add to Sedicii’s mix a product that verifies identity without sharing information is a bit like saying the impossible is possible!

All the team at Sedicii know that Rob shares the highs and lows, the successes and the challenges in the pursuit of what Marisol Menendez, BBVA, Former Head of Open Innovation described as Sedicii’s legacy when it won the Fintech for the Future award. “Sedicii is the start up with the greatest potential to transform the financial sector in the next 10 years!”

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Rob is an Electronic Engineer by profession having graduated from DCU (Dublin City University) Ireland in the 1980’s. He subsequently moved to Japan where over the next 20 years he worked cutting his teeth and gaining experience at senior management le vel in Datacraft Japan, PTS Limited and eSafe Japan. Before his entrepreneurial spirit took serious hold, he was part of the senior management team which set up Dell Japan growing the business in the first four years to annual sales of over $300 million and employees of almost 300. In the early noughties Rob returned to Ireland and subsequently co-founded Kyckr (ASX:KYK) in 2007, a company now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Whilst still co-managing Kyckr he founded Sedicii in 2013. In 2016, he relinquished his executive position at Kyckr to concentrate his full energies on Sedicii.

No Exposure of Underlying Data

Sedicii is building a global, federated identity network in collaboration with Government agencies, tier-one financial institutions, telcos’s and national utility service providers to facilitate the verification of a citizen’s identity without the need to expose the underlying data to the parties in the verification process thereby protecting the individual’s privacy. This is achieved using Sedicii’s patented ZKP protocol (Zero Knowledge Proof).

Rob believes that in an ideal world he would like to see a digital ecosystem whereby government departments, financial institutions and national agencies work together in their respective countries and beyond rather than individually holding knowledge about their citizens and clients. He believes that it is only by using information whilst not sharing it that privacy and real-time authenticated information will make the difference between being in control and the current situation where privacy is at issue every time you use the internet. In the words of Gary Kovacs, CEO of AVG Technologies “Privacy is not an option and it shouldn’t be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet”.

Improving Personal Security

In many ways, Covid 19 has focused minds on personal security and privacy as more and more people are working from home and interacting both socially and professionally through online internet meetings, family gatherings, shopping, etc. Over the past nine months there has been a vast increase in online transactions and corresponding increases in fraud, impersonation, scamming and theft. Accordingly, Sedicii has found companies more receptive to its KYC, KYB and AML services particularly as it is GDPR and other privacy laws compliant.

Effective Detection of Criminal Activity

In the context of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) transaction monitoring processes, banks can collaborate and jointly compute advanced risk assessment algorithms that consume information available in the different banks about their customers without actually having to share that information by using Sedicii’s patented multi-party computation (MPC) cryptographic protocol.

Sedicii has developed a solution that allows financial institutions to securely share the knowledge they have about clients or transactions, without disclosing the underlying data or information (PII). This enables financial institutions to identify potentially suspicious transactions and clients more clearly and more accurately by combining the risk information they have – which will enable more effective detection of criminal activity.

Seeking Company of Right People

Rob believes that persistence, perseverance, and patience are important qualities for an aspiring business leader to possess. Belief in oneself and the service or product is paramount. He suggests finding and joining in forums with other like-minded people. He advises to seek out a trusted mentor. He says that we should be true to ourselves and realistic in our approach that we cannot attain great heights alone. He asks to seek the company of right people. He suggests taking the time to enjoy the success when it comes.

Exponential Growth

Sedicii continues to seek out like-minded organizations who see the benefits of real-time identity verification – foremost in terms of individual privacy but as a natural progression in terms of reputational enhancement, organizational cost effectiveness and efficiency. Rob envisions that Sedicii will grow exponentially in terms of employees, partners, investors and that growth will bring benefits and rewards to all who share its vision and use its services.