GDPR Compliance

02 Feb 2024 By: Michael Kansky


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU law on data protection and privacy. It applies to all individuals in the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also covers the sharing of personal data outside these areas. Essentially, the GDPR lets people manage their own data and streamlines rules for global business. Making it easier to operate across the EU.

Live chat GDPR compliance

For businesses offering live chat, sticking to GDPR rules is key. This means being careful about how they handle user data—from collection to sharing. If they don’t, they could face big fines and a hit to their reputation. This guide dives into what GDPR means for live chat services.

Understanding GDPR

The GDPR stands on two main ideas. First, handling personal data must be legal, fair, and clear. Second, data should be gathered for clear, specific reasons and not used in ways that don’t fit those reasons. These concepts are at the heart of GDPR rules.

Under the GDPR, personal data is any info that can identify someone. This includes names, ID numbers, location details, online IDs, or anything else tied to a person’s physical, mental, or social traits.

GDPR is a strict law enforcing data privacy and security worldwide for handling EU citizens’ data, effective since May 25, 2018. It mandates organizations to protect personal and sensitive information. Offering individuals more control over their data. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global revenue.

Moreover, the GDPR introduces rigorous requirements for both Data Processors and Data Controllers. Underscoring the importance of Privacy Notices written in clear and plain language. Also, they must implement strong technical and organizational security measures. These measures aim to prevent data breaches. The regulation extends its territorial scope beyond the European Union. Affecting any organization worldwide that processes the data of European customers. Thereby setting a global standard for personal data protection.

Lawful Basis for Processing

Under the GDPR, companies need a legal reason to use personal data. There are six reasons allowed: consent, contract, legal duty, vital needs, public tasks, and legit interests. For live chat services, consent and contracts are the big ones.

Consent is when someone explicitly agrees to let you use their personal data for a certain reason. Contract is when you need to handle their data to fulfill a contract with them, or if they need you to do something specific before making a deal.

Data Subject Rights

The GDPR gives people control over their information. You can find out how it’s used, correct mistakes, and delete it. You should also control how it’s used, move it, and refuse certain uses. They also have the right not to be just a number to an algorithm.

Live chat services, whether reactive or proactive, must ensure that they respect these rights. This means being clear about how they use personal data. Giving people ways to view, correct, delete, or move their data, challenge its use, or opt out of automatic decisions.

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GDPR Compliance for Live Chat

Getting your live chat GDPR-ready involves a few key steps. First up, know what personal data you’re collecting. This isn’t just the chat messages, but also details like IP addresses, device info, and where the user is chatting from.

Then, make sure you’ve got a legit reason to use this data. Often, it’s going to be the user’s consent. You need to get this consent clearly and plainly. Plus, it offers an easy way for users to change their minds and pull their consent whenever they want.

Data Protection Impact Assessment

For certain data uses, you might need a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). It’s a step to pinpoint and lessen privacy risks in a project. You’ll need a DPIA for any processing that poses a high risk to people. This includes extensive, tech-savvy processing or dealing with a lot of sensitive info.

For live chat, a DPIA can spot potential issues like how messages are stored and sent, the use of auto-replies, and how it works with other systems. It can also guide you in reducing these risks, through encryption, limiting who can see data, and keeping data use to a minimum.

Data Protection Officer

Under GDPR, some businesses have to name a Data Protection Officer (DPO). This person knows the ins and outs of data protection laws and helps the company stay on track. Offers advice on data protection duties, and weighs in on Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs). And be the go-to for people’s questions and for talking with data protection watchdogs.

Whether a live chat service needs a DPO depends on what and how much data they handle. If a public body does the processing, if it involves a lot of tracking or deals with sensitive or criminal data on a big scale, then a DPO is a must.

Implementing GDPR Compliance

Getting your live chat GDPR-ready involves a few steps. First off, figure out how your data flows. You need to know where personal data starts, where it ends up, who can see it, and how it’s kept safe. This helps spot potential risks and pinpoint where you need to beef up data protection.

Next, put safeguards in place for personal data. This includes tech fixes like encryption and who can access data. Plus company-wide strategies like policies, training, and check-ups. Also, make sure you’re set up to handle requests from folks wanting to exercise their GDPR rights.

Data Protection by Design and by Default

The GDPR brings in the ideas of “data protection by design and by default.” That means companies need to think about privacy from the get-go. Starting from creating any system, service, product, or process that deals with personal data. Plus, privacy should be baked into the very heart of their operations.

For live chat services, this means setting up features that limit how much personal data is collected and stored. Offering clear privacy info, letting users tweak their privacy settings easily, and making sure personal data is secure right out of the box. It also involves thinking about privacy when linking up with other tools like CRM systems and analytics platforms.

Records of Processing Activities

The GDPR mandates that organizations keep detailed records of how they handle data. This includes why they process data. It covers what kinds of data and who it’s about. It also covers who gets the data, if it’s sent overseas, when it’s deleted, and an overview of the security steps.

For live chat services, this means logging each chat, noting when it happened, who was involved, what was said, and any follow-up actions. It also means documenting any data handling tied to the chat service. This can include analyzing chat content, providing customer support, or using the info for marketing.

Trending Now

An IBM article highlighted how, since 2018, the GDPR has revolutionized the way organizations globally safeguard the privacy of EU citizens. Live chat services, for example, can boost trust, outshine rivals, and cultivate a privacy-first culture. Big fines, like Meta’s €1.2 billion hit, highlight the steep cost of slipping up. Despite its complexity, GDPR outlines clear actions for compliance. From data audits to consent updates and breach plans.

GDPR isn’t just about avoiding fines; it’s about building privacy into your business model. It applies globally to anyone handling EU residents’ data, not just companies in the European Economic Area (EEA). Compliance boosts your reputation and customer confidence. It also preps businesses for other privacy laws worldwide. Adhering to GDPR isn’t just legal hygiene; it’s a strategic move that enhances trust, security, and market presence.

Dealing with Data Breaches

The GDPR has strict rules for handling data breaches. These are incidents where personal data is accidentally or illegally destroyed, lost, changed, disclosed, or accessed. If a breach happens, companies must quickly work to reduce the damage. Tell the right supervisory authority, and sometimes, inform the people impacted.

For live chat services, this means putting in place ways to spot and deal with breaches. Like using systems to detect break-ins, having plans ready for responding to incidents, and knowing how to tell people what has happened. It also means training staff on how to notice and report breaches.

Data Breach Notification

Under the GDPR, if a data breach happens, organizations have 72 hours to inform the proper supervisory authority. Unless the breach isn’t likely to harm people’s rights and freedoms. If there’s a serious risk to folks, the affected individuals must be told quickly, too.

For live chat services, this means having a plan to figure out how risky a breach is. Deciding who needs to know, and getting those notifications out pronto. These alerts should explain what went wrong, and how many people and records are involved. Plus the possible impact, and what’s being done to fix it or prevent it in the future.

“The companies that do the best job on managing a user’s privacy will be the companies that ultimately are the most successful.”

— Fred Wilson

Data Breach Response

Dealing with a data breach means taking a few critical steps. First, stop the breach and limit the damage. This might mean cutting off the affected areas, stopping the hackers, getting back any lost data, and patching up the security holes they used.

Then, dig into what happened and write it all down. Gather evidence, talk to anyone involved, look over logs and data, and pull together a thorough report. Also, take a hard look at your data protection practices and make improvements to stop the same thing from happening again.

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In essence, GDPR compliance is integral to maintaining consumer confidence and trust. Safeguarding the privacy and security of personal data against unauthorized or unlawful processing. Plus, ensuring that data processing serves legitimate purposes. With the potential for significant fines for GDPR violations, the stakes are high. Creating a comprehensive compliance program is essential. It must be supported by expert legal counsel and adherence to a GDPR checklist. This is vital for any organization in or dealing with the European market.

While the GDPR presents many challenges, it also presents opportunities. By getting on board with GDPR rules, live chat services can gain their users’ trust, stand out from the crowd, and foster a culture where privacy and data protection are everyone’s gain. For your BPO needs, our skilled, bilingual agents are equipped to provide exceptional customer support, manage back-office operations, and conduct thorough research—all at an affordable starting rate of just $8.50 per hour. Elevate your business efficiency and customer satisfaction with our professional virtual assistants and round-the-clock customer service team. Start your trial today and experience the future of BPO with HelpSquad!

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Michael Kansky

Michael Kansky, Founder of LiveHelpNow and HelpSquad, has leveraged his 20 years of industry experience and innovative support strategies to revolutionize customer service approaches, making LiveHelpNow a leading customer service software provider, and establishing HelpSquad as a bridge between businesses and customer needs. You may contact Michael on LinkedIn: