Banjo Announces Change in Leadership
Banjo, Inc announced today that the company's current CEO and founder, Damien Patton has resigned and that the company will be transitioning to a new, reconstituted leadership team effectively immediately. Banjo’s new CEO will be Justin R. Lindsey, the current CTO of the company.
“I’m deeply honored to have worked alongside the Banjo team and am proud of all we have accomplished thus far,” Patton said. “I am confident Banjo’s greatest days are still ahead, and will do everything in my power to ensure our mission succeeds. However, under the current circumstances, I believe Banjo’s best path forward is under different leadership.”
"Nine months ago I was inspired by Banjo's mission to join the company full time as the CTO," Lindsey said. "As CEO, I’m looking forward to continuing Banjo's dedication to technology solutions that protect privacy.”
Banjo is a technology company based in the Salt Lake City area of Utah. It has developed products that seek to reduce human suffering and save lives by getting first responders the information they need to deploy public safety resources as quickly as possible. Through its company policies and patents, Banjo does this while maintaining an unswerving commitment to the protection of personal privacy information and data.
Message from TeamBanjo
Following yesterday’s announcement by the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Banjo has decided to suspend all Utah contracts by not ingesting any government data or providing any services to government entities until an independent third party audit has been contracted and completed. Banjo believes that any company working with the government should be subject to audits and oversight.
The audit will have direct oversight by the state and will look to ensure there’s no bias in the technology, that Banjo is not a surveillance company and that all data for the state is being handled per the contract.
Banjo’s mission is to save lives and minimize human suffering to help first responders in emergency situations while not invading people’s civil liberties and rights. We are looking forward to the audit to show that we can build technology to help save lives and protect people’s rights.
Message from Banjo CEO, Damien Patton
Today, Medium OneZero posted an article that focused on a dark and despicable period in my life that I am extremely remorseful about and sorry for. I am deeply ashamed of my actions and do not hold any of these beliefs, which I find abhorrent and indefensible.
These actions taken in the past are completely at odds with the work Banjo does day-in and day-out. As I traveled, grew up, and fought for this country, I became the man I am today, who fights for justice and is dedicated to making the world safer for all. I founded a company to help people, to save lives and ensure first responders have all the resources they need to help our nation’s most vulnerable. Please know that I have spent the last thirty years, and will likely spend the rest of my life, attempting to atone for the terrible things I was a part of – this is at the core of what drives me to help others today. Thank you for listening... I appreciate everything you do for Banjo and again am sorry for any pain I have caused you and others. Please see my full statement below that we are providing members of the media.
I am deeply ashamed of this time in my life and feel sincere remorse and deep regret for my affiliation with hateful groups whose actions and beliefs are completely despicable, immoral and indefensible.
I am sorry to all those who I have hurt and offended and understand that no apology will undo what I have done. For the last 30 years, I have worked to right this grievous mistake as a lost, misguided adolescent kid.
Through service to my country, dedication to my friends of all faiths, and building a business that employs amazing employees of all faiths, backgrounds and perspectives, I have committed myself to becoming an accepting and upstanding member of my community.
32 years ago I was a lost, scared, and vulnerable child. I won’t go into detail, but the reasons I left home at such a young age are unfortunately not unique; I suffered abuse in every form. I did terrible things and said despicable and hateful things, including to my own Jewish mother, that today I find indefensibly wrong, and feel extreme remorse for. I have spent most of my adult lifetime working to make amends for this shameful period in my life.
In my teens, I dropped out of school, lived on the streets, ate out of dumpsters and raised money panhandling. I was desperate and afraid. I was taken in by skinhead gangs and white supremacist organizations. Over the course of a few years, I did many things as part of those groups that I am profoundly ashamed of and sorry about. Eventually, I was able to get myself away from this world while serving in the United States Navy. This turned my life around. While serving my country, I worked with law enforcement agencies in hate group prosecutions and left this world behind.
Since then, I have tried and failed to completely accept and come to terms with how I, a child of Jewish heritage, became part of such a hateful, racist group. One thing I have done, through therapy and outreach, I have learned to forgive that 15 year old boy who, despite the absence of ideological hate, was lured into a dark and evil world. For all of those I have hurt, and that this revelation will hurt, I’m sorry. No apology will undo what I have done.
I have worked every day to be a responsible member of society. I’ve built companies, employed hundreds and have worked to treat everyone around me equally. In recent years, I’ve sought to create technologies that stop human suffering and save lives without violating privacy. I know that I will never be able to erase my past but I work hard every day to make up for mistakes. This is something I will never stop doing.
Standing for Privacy in the Face of Crisis
The past few months have taught us that COVID-19 does not discriminate as every industry, individual, and institution has been deeply impacted by the pandemic’s negative repercussions. To say that we are all eager for life to go back to normal would be an understatement.
As the fight against COVID-19 continues, it seems like new solutions are presented daily as leaders across all industries are racing to stop the spread of the virus. We appreciate everyone’s efforts in coming together for the greater good. However, in the speed to find a solution, privacy protections are put at risk. If left unaddressed, there could be severe long term consequences as civil liberties are compromised.
At Banjo, we have worked to create our Live Ground Truth platform to support those fighting COVID-19. We’re leveraging our technology to help stop the virus spread and bring back some sense of normalcy to our country. We understand that, in using technology to create solutions, it is more important now than ever to protect user privacy and defend civil liberties.
To read our stance on privacy protection in the face of COVID-19, here is an article written by Banjo’s CEO and founder, Damien Patton.
We hope to begin a dialogue that COVID-19 solutions and privacy protection are not mutually exclusive. In fact they can, and should, go hand-in-hand.
COVID-19 Live Ground Truth
Today, millions of Americans are living under stay-at-home orders and life across our nation is at a virtual standstill, impacting our businesses, families and communities in every corner of our nation. We thank the brave healthcare workers, package handlers, delivery people and first responders who are on the front lines of this pandemic.
At Banjo, we are focused on doing what we do best to help fight COVID-19: applying technology to get the right information to decision makers and lifesavers who will help us defeat this global pandemic. Our goal is to help give healthcare providers and local, state and federal governments the technology they need to better understand and effectively fight COVID-19.
That is why we have worked around the clock to develop a new technology — Live Ground Truth — aimed at providing the comprehensive and contextualized information needed to help public health agencies and health care providers better identify potential outbreaks and more efficiently apply resources for prevention and treatment, as they work to protect our communities. In short, it helps healthcare providers make sense of data, enabling them to make smarter decisions more quickly.
This technology has been developed with a focus on protecting user privacy. Working with our partners, we can look at several data sources to analyze healthcare capacity, available resources, symptoms and diagnosed cases. Our capabilities then allow us to help healthcare providers and government agencies significantly reduce response times and more efficiently deploy resources to help reduce suffering and loss of life.
We are proud to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 and will continue to look for ways to support the healthcare workers, researchers, and first responders fighting this terrible virus.
Together we can win this fight and emerge stronger.
Welcome to Banjo
I founded Banjo in 2010 as a social media company, to connect users with their friends. A few years later, we pivoted to providing data services for the media industry, to help the public make more informed decisions faster. Today, we are neither—we are a company that is dedicated to strengthening public safety.
Banjo provides a single service called Live Time, which delivers life-saving information to first responders in seconds through anonymized data streams. Live Time helps first responders and public agencies to better identify emergencies, reduce response times, and save lives.
While we’ve evolved and grown through the years, we’ve always prioritized the privacy and safety of others. We’re proud to be a company that has never sold personal data. We have gone to great lengths to protect the public’s privacy and to ensure our technology is being used solely for the purpose of good.
If you’d like to learn more about our journey and our commitment to privacy, you can read my post on medium here.
Stay tuned as we post more here in the coming weeks with updates on Banjo.
CEO and Founder of Banjo