Speaker profile

Personal information

  • Ms Isabella De Michelis
    Expert, European DIGITAL SME Alliance
    ErnieApp Ltd CEO and founder


Isabella founded ErnieApp in 2017, one year ahead of GDPR entering into force, with the conviction that only a user-centric consented free internet based model could resolve the conundrum of how privacy, innovation and competition in a digital connected society heading toward AI and IoT could coexist peacefully. More than 100’000 unique users have downloaded the app since, from Europe, US and LATAM, (no demographic specific 16-65+ years old).

What’s a PKM? A PKM is a new technology, a mobile app and a new digital service to consumers and to businesses designed under a new “trust paradigm’. The PKM app (store name ErnieApp) is very user friendly and easy to use, leverages a software “engine” (nPKE)’) empowering users to control their data permissions on third parties in a very effective, dynamic and measurable way, unilaterally. The app allows users to audit (READ) and manage (WRITE) privacy settings on 3rd parties, from a single dashboard (subject to login on the 3rd party service), making it very easy for any user to ‘control’ the data flow/data sharing ‘on the go’. ErnieApp is the engineering of art 6(a) of GDPR (consent as legal basis) and it can be described as the first ever ‘consumer’ consent management platform coming to market. It enables users to (DELETE) data and will soon support the (TRANSFER) of data capability along with ‘DATA VISUALIZATION capabilities. It also measures privacy exposure with an innovative personalized indicator THE OPENNESS INDEX. With ErnieApp users assert themselves what they prefer without delegating to a data intermediary their data monetization strategy, paving the way to novel C2B and C2B2B business models in full GDPR compliance. The app also offers a gamification experience to educate people about the competition dynamics of the data market.

Before launching her reg-tech- venture, Isabella was VP EMEA Government Affairs and Technology Policy Strategy at Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) for 10+ years; before that she held various executive and senior management positions at CISCO SYSTEMS, IRIDIUM LLS, ELSACOM SPA, TELESPAZIO SPA, being responsible for corporate development strategy, regulatory affairs, business development, market access and IP, industry alliances and partnerships. She spent many years in promoting government-industry cooperation around wireless technologies adoption and standardization, IP policy, digital innovation and competition. Isabella has often advised EC and EU member states on matters related to telecom regulatory, internet, IP, competition and privacy. She is a frequent ‘lecturer’ in European universities (Bachelor and Masters) on topics related to the new data sovereignty policy, privacy economics, gatekeepers regulation and competition in digital.

Isabella is an IUHED/Geneva University graduate in Int’l Relations, w/major in competition law and policy; holds an Executive MBA from (UCL). In Jan. 2020 she was appointed board member and director of CDP Ventures SGR, the VC of the Italian government investing in start-up and scale-up companies (+€2Bn) where she is also a member of the Risk Control and Compensation Committee. She is managing director at HIGH PULSE, an ex-alumni of IUHED, a member of WIL Europe, TEDx speaker and a frequent guest on TV- Radio and Internet programs talking about the interplay between tech, privacy, competition, digital innovation and societal impacts. She represents ErnieApp in GaiaX (where she was appointed in 2022 Vice Chair of the Business and Operational working group), UPA, Digital EU SME Alliance and a member of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development Task Force on Data Strategy. In 2018 she authored the concept of Right to Monetize which foresee a responsibility for digital companies to recognize to users a fair compensation for the contribution users give to their innovation cycle (through human machine interaction). Isabella is married, a happy mother of one boy, she is fluent in Italian, English and French. Passionate about economics “fairness” and people’s “rights”.