How To Make Your Enterprise Email Bot GDPR Compliant

As an initiative, the GDPR seeks to give all EU citizens complete control over their personal information. The owners or custodians of said information will have the final say on whether to keep it private or make it public. GDPR Protects Myriad Types Of Data The following forms of data come under the protection of GDPR – Identity information such as the name, social security number, date of birth, ID card number, phone number, email ID, residential address, etc. Digital data which includes cookie data, IP address, etc. Genetic & health-related data Biometric data Information that pertains to ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs GDPR Applies To A Wide Range Of Industries Any organization that is privy to the personal information of EU citizens must comply with GDPR. This is irrespective of whether said companies hold physical offices or any other assets & properties within the EU. Thus, a large contingent of global enterprises comes under the purview of GDPR. The GDPR Compliance Regulation Recognizes 3 Parties In the event of any dispute, the regulation recognizes 3 distinct parties for redressal. The first & foremost is the subject or principal. This refers to the individual or entity whose right to information privacy is in contention. The second party is the data controller. This refers to the person or entity that defines the purpose behind collecting such personal data from individuals. The data controller also lays down the conditions under which the said data will be collected & processed. In the eyes of the regulatory authorities, both an individual and a company may be recognized as a data controller. It may also denote a database or CRM. Conventionally, if you or your company performs any one or combination of the following activities, you are a data controller – Personal data collection Defining the parameters of data collection Data modification Defining the purpose behind the data collection Setting restrictions on the distribution of said data Setting temporal limitations to the collection, distribution & storage of the personal information A data processor is any entity that uses or applies the collected information on behalf of the controllers. It refers to analytic tools such as Mixpanel, Google Analytics, etc. it also includes communication tools such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Skype, Telegram, etc. The gamut of data processors encompasses Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Natural Language Understanding (NLU) services such as DialogFlow, Watson & IBM. It also extends to 3rd party companies & Cloud Providers. If you perform any of the following activities for a data controller, you are a data processor – Install systems, tools & methods that collect personal data Is responsible for the security of the said data Is also responsible for the storage & transit of the information from one point to another Typically, there are 5 industry best practices that any company can adopt to ensure that its Enterprise Email Bot is GDPR compliant. Transparency When asking for any information, the email bot should provide the prospect with a user-friendly form that clearly states what personal data is being solicited. Furthermore, it should communicate the purpose behind the collection of the said information, how it will be used & which other parties may gain access to the same. Ready Access & Delete Options Any user who has provided personal information to an email bot should also be given the means of easily accessing & downloading the said information anytime. This service has to be provided free of charge. Furthermore, if the user so pleases, he or she should be able to permanently delete said data from the email bot server. The Email Bot Logs Even when an email bot does not explicitly collect personal data from its users, it may come across private information such as email IDs, IP addresses or even individual names. This happens when it stores access, security or error audit logs. Without the consent of the user, an email bot cannot store such private information. Furthermore, such bots will be subject to periodic reviews by an independent 3rd party to ensure that it is not a practice to store private information in log data. Security Any email bot that trades in personal information of its users should possess sound infrastructure that protects it from any untoward security breach or hack. Furthermore, contingencies should be in place to commensurately respond to any such hack. In the event of any digital invasion, the latter has to be brought to the notice of the Data Protection Authority (DPA) within 72 hours. According to Article 55 of the GDPR charter, affected data subjects also have to be immediately notified. Some of the industry best practices for email bot security include User identity authentication Self-destructing messages Authentication timeouts End-to-end encryption Biometric authentication 2-factor authentication Privacy Policy Any email bot that seeks the personal information of its users should have an established privacy policy in place. The users should be intimated about the privacy policy before they are asked to provide personal information. This policy should broadly answer the following queries – What information is being asked for? Who is asking for this information? Why should the user proffer said information? How will this information be used? Which 3rd parties will this information be shared with? How can the user withdraw the data completely from usage by the bot? Thanks to universally recognized standards such as the GDPR, industries worldwide can implement email bots in their daily operations in a hassle-free manner. To know how our world-renowned Lead Engagement Bot products can help your business, give us a call today.