We are currently living in the digital age where the value of information is unmatched. Given the nature of our project, it is clear that we will be dealing with very sensitive information ranging from individual personal details of clients, employees, the product itself, among others. In fact, for the project to be successful, the more information collected, especially regarding the user, the more accurate the product becomes. Information can be so catastrophic when mishandled, a situation that has made the government impose several laws and policies regarding data privacy.
The Privacy act of 1974 prohibits the disclosure of any personally identifiable information maintained by agencies without the approval of the individual except under certain special conditions. Indeed, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a disclosure statute. It states that when an agency receives a proper FOIA request for records, it must avail the records unless the records or some sections of the records are excluded from mandatory disclosure under subsection (b), which establishes nine exemptions or (c) which establishes three special categories for law enforcement related records (Ishee 2). Another government regulation on privacy is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as well as the Privacy Rule (2000), which establishes the required and addressable security standards and works together with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which establishes naturally required and addressable security standards (Ishee 3).
The fact that the government has taken such extra precautions to ensure the privacy of personal information only stresses how seriously the data privacy should be taken. The company would have to enforce its own laws and policies to comply with all the government regulations and ensure that all employees and any third parties involved may take it seriously. It would be a shame to compromise the company’s integrity by having a case similar to Uber back in 2014, where an executive misused customer privacy and tracked a journalist through Uber.
According to Dorothy and Denning, data security has two main objectives. One is to ensure no unauthorized disclosure of data, and the other is to prevent unauthorized modification of data (3). Data relayed over computer systems is susceptible to certain threats like browsing, which refers to searching through the main memory or secondary storage for information, tapping of information during transmission, leakage, where data may be sent to unauthorized users by legitimate processes with legitimate access to the data, and hacking, among others. The most common way to prevent such is cryptography, which basically refers to making the data unintelligible. The sender uses a specific logarithm to convert data before transmission, so that even if it finds its way to unauthorized users intentionally or unintentionally, they would not understand it because only the intended receiver has the key to decrypt the message. Just as it sounds, it is evident that this is another field of study altogether.
Therefore, to prevent data security issues like Target and Sony, the company would have to outsource the services from another company dedicated to preventing and solving such issues. Amazon Cloud is one good option, they have been on the market for quite some time, and they have met their clients’ need, which is one assurance on their efficiency. Amazon Cloud is a service subsidiary of Amazon which deals with cloud storage services and allows secure access to the data by authorized devices. Our company would only have to solicit their services and pay their charges in accordance with the chosen plan. We would not have to share any equity with them since it is just a service they provide to many other companies which are in need.
The third and final risk is safety requirements. Our product is almost entirely based on the provision of safety. In Mobileye’s case, we realized that the founders’ vision was to put Mobileye in the center of their Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). This system is designed to improve safety and avoid accidents, which concurs with our vision. With that in mind, we are all aware of the risks involved on the roads since the number of deaths caused is alarming. After all, this is what made us come up with this idea. Human life is precious and for our product to be implemented it must be tested and proven to make sure that it does what is claims to do. Our product aims at detecting issues that would have sounded impossible before the birth of artificial intelligence. Our sensors should be able to assess the mood of the driver, detect if the driver is drunk to a point where he or she should not drive and take appropriate action, as it has been preset to do in such situations.
The vision of a driverless car is one that almost every technology company and car manufacturer have on top of their priorities, and with all the strides made, it is just a matter of time. We see our product as a great safety tool for transitioning from traditional driving cars to semi-driverless cars. To make sure our product passes the safety requirements, it will pass through numerous tests and trials. Given the nature of our product, a minor design flaw may result in catastrophic outcomes. As a result, software products are usually highly regulated, besides requiring certification in every turn. Stallings explains that competent engineers should design the product to ensure it meets the desired safety standards, like IEC EN 61508 (21). Audits will be carried out at every stage, and assessments will determine any product hazards or risks to the same. Individuals will be educated on various methods, such as documenting user manuals for the clients to ensure that they do not compromise the safety requirements (Stallings 21). In summary, it is a long journey to implementation, and we will follow all the procedures to ensure we meet the safety requirements for our product.
After five years, we hope the business will have achieved its sole objective of creating a safer driving environment. However, the business might opt to exit the market for some reasons, including the company’s future growth prospects or change in business roles, which necessitate the move to seek solutions to other challenges. However, there are general exit considerations to be understood before taking the final steps, including understanding potential valuations ranges for the different exit options, security implications that the company exposes itself to, and conduct diligence review that will help ensure that corporate documents are legit and up to date. Notably, to achieve this, a viable exit plan should be chosen.
Merger and Acquisition
The plan involves finding a potential business partner with whom you share the same goals and objectives of success. The partnership will provide the company with a cash infusion to increase the capital float to carry out business activities, which are set to achieve targets. Being a viable venture, car manufacturers will highly accept emotional detection as a driving safety measure. A sample being Volkswagen as a potential client for a merger. They could collaborate with the company to incorporate the facial emotional detectors in their cars before selling their final product to the clients, not only for our benefit, but also for Volkswagens competitive edge as compared to other car dealers.
Heydenrich notes that having a planned exit increases the likelihood of achieving optimal business goals since it mitigates against failure, reducing income tax burden on the organization and reconciling the expected wealth transfer to the targeted wealth transfer (2). When considering the merger and acquisitions, certain considerations should be discussed, including employees’ issues involving invention agreements signed by employees, retention agreements signed, service level agreements signed in the employer’s and employee’s contract, and a review of the service provider classification issues.
In addition, Seagroves points out a number of advantages of mergers and acquisition. First, it is a fast exit strategy because the other company will help the management to run the business efficiently. Still, it will allow the business to use equity and business shares as a base for acquisition, provide corporate credibility by merging with competitive businesses in the market, and give certainty of sale price expected to be received at the end of the merger (4).
Liquidation and Close
The aspect involves selling out the entire business, its ideas, and progress to a fully interested party. This is the most used exit strategy because it is fast and does not entail many complications. The sale should take the shortest time possible and be conducted at an appropriate time during a high business season. However, the face detection software venture is not seasonal since driving is a day-to-day activity. It is advisable to use a liquidation professional during the entire process that is well acquainted with the business liquidation process, which includes processes such as valuation of assets and unveiling hidden costs that come with the transfer of certifications and patent processes, among others.
Therefore, instead of giving full ownership, the management of the business may not exit immediately to train the new managers on the business processes and efficient management of the venture. The sale price may be slightly lower than the business’s overall costs. The investor may not buy the business at a cash price but might purchase on debt, hence, tying up the capital intended to be invested in other areas. In our case, we might consider selling our product fully to a car manufacturer company.
Initial public offering (IPO)
This exit strategy involves going to the public to raise finances by offering to sell certain equity to the public market. A potential IPO candidate should have characteristics such as a readily available quality management team who will keep the business going, mature internal controls, and strong and sustainable growth. Some of the specific considerations to take during an IPO exit strategy include reviewing exemptions for unregistered offerings, ensuring enough capital availability in the event of delayed transactions, and adopting new public company equity incentive plans. In essence, it is easy to access capital markets and future financing in the IPO. In fact, this is the most viable exit strategy because our product has potential growth, and the major constraint would only be the funding.
Selling to a Friendly Individual
This involves transferring the entire business to another individual at an agreed price and set conditions. However, this is unlikely in our case because we believe in our product and would be willing to take risks which the prospective buyer would also be willing to take.
Dorothy Elizabeth, Denning Robling. Cryptography and Data Security. Boston: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1982.Print.
Heydenrich Peter. The 7 step guide to Business Exit Planning. Laguna Hills, CA. Corporate Finance Associates. Print.
Ishee Jonathan. Summary of selected federal laws and regulations addressing confidentiality, privacy and security. [U. S Department of Health and Human Services], 2010.Print.
Seagroves J. Fentress. Exit Strategies. New York: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2013.Print.
Stallings William. Cryptography and Network Security: principles and practices. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2011.Print.