Indiegogo & Transcend: Slashing Privacy Request Costs by 80%

Indiegogo is a technology company founded on empowering the individual. That extends to ensuring their users have actionable and complete data rights, in line with a growing number of state- and country-based privacy laws.

In need of a cost-effective and complete solution that eliminated manual work, Transcend provided an out-of-the-box solution that not only empowered Indiegogo’s team to deliver actionable data rights but that also drove real business savings and improved efficiency and security.

The challenge

Indiegogo is the leading crowdfunding platform that gives entrepreneurs a way to get their innovative ideas in front of individuals to fund. Every month, over 19,000 campaigns are launched, and over 10 million people globally visit Indiegogo to help fund the campaigns. Just as Indiegogo empowers entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life, they also empower their users with control over their data.

Prior to partnering with Transcend, fulfilling privacy requests as mandated by GDPR and California’s CCPA was a largely manual process. Customer service agents would read through user tickets, flag if it was related to privacy, and send it to Indiegogo’s legal team. They’d vet the user for authentication purposes and then do a manual internal review to make sure the company wasn’t required to keep the data for any reason.

The request would then be handed off to individual teams to track and action each part of the request. Each of their teams was required to participate—across sales, marketing, engineering, and operations. They all had to manually delete the data from the tools they use–Sailthru, Salesforce, etc. Then the Privacy team would double-check that it was all deleted. Once all of that was complete, the user would need to be updated.

The whole process would take a couple of weeks, and it was not easy.

Partnering with Transcend

Indiegogo’s privacy team saw an opportunity—not only to radically improve an inefficient process through engineered automation, but to deliver a better user experience in the process.

“We didn’t want to sign up with any old privacy vendor. We needed to partner with someone who could give our users a modern and secure data privacy experience. We also didn’t need a marginally better workflow. We wanted a real technology solution that gives our users access to their data rights in seconds,” said Frankie Benjamin, Corporate Counsel at Indiegogo.

“As we scoped various solutions, we asked ourselves a number of key questions, including: How streamlined is this solution? Does this fully automate our needs and that of our users? Does this meet and exceed our requirements on security and legal compliance? Is engineering on board with the solution, and is it an easy lift for them to integrate?”

“The answer for all of those was a ‘yes’ with Transcend.”

The result

As part of the evaluation process for Transcend, Frankie and her team ran a detailed cost analysis against sticking with their status quo manual process and found that by switching to Transcend, they’d be able to reduce consumer privacy request processing costs by 80% through automated data connections to SaaS systems, eliminating manual work for the legal and cross-functional teams, and automating report ingest, authentication, and delivery through a self-serve Privacy Center.

By automating manual work, cross-functional teams were predicted to get approximately 90 days of cumulative time back per year to focus on more strategic work in service of their users.

Beyond delivering substantial improvements to Indiegogo’s ROI, Transcend’s focus on engineered automation and no-code integrations has meant Indiegogo’s legal team has largely been able to fully manage Transcend internally with little involvement required from their engineering team. This has let them move fast to integrate new systems or processes—crucial for staying in complete compliance—without taking engineers off revenue-generating code.

Indiegogo's Privacy Center, powered by Transcend.

A focus on security

“We value Transcend’s focus on building a deeply engineered and security-first platform,” said Indiegogo’s internal Transcend advocate Frankie Benjamin (read more on her approach to privacy in this profile).

A case in point was Transcend’s integration with Looker, a leading business intelligence tool used extensively by Indiegogo. With the integration, Indiegogo was able to ensure their data privacy is managed at a macro-level across all Looker databases rather than having to manage each individual underlying database.

“By integrating with our Looker instance rather than the underlying databases it sits atop of, we can ensure we’re covering any internal system changes, reducing database connection points and adding an extra layer of protection for our internal systems. Meanwhile, we’re giving our users complete control over their data.”

Summing up

For a company that breaks down barriers between entrepreneurs and early adopters with a frictionless crowdfunding experience, Transcend was a natural fit to ensure that same great experience extended to user privacy controls.

It’s also ensured that Frankie and her teams have been able to stay on top of new privacy laws while staying out of the weeds of processing privacy requests manually.

“When we implemented Transcend, we hoped it’d free our teams from quarterbacking a lot of the manual work involved in complying with these modern privacy laws, and that’s definitely been the case. But we’ve gained much more than that—better user experiences, improved security, and a true privacy engineering partner in Transcend.”

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