General Data Protection Regulation requirements prohibit companies from hiding behind illegible terms and conditions that are difficult to understand. Instead, GDPR compliance requires companies to clearly define their data privacy policies and make them easily accessible.
What is the General Data Protection Regulation (Also Known as the GDPR)?
By now, you’ve likely heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR). Still, you may not understand all of its implications, especially if your company operates outside of the EU. The GDPR is often referred to as the biggest and most significant data privacy regulation in 20 years, a substantial step up from the EU’s previous data protection directive. This new regulation aims to transform how organizations in every sector handle personal data, putting consumers in the driver’s seat to control their own data processing. For the first time, people have a say over who collects their personal data, when it’s collected, and how it’s used.
With this regulation, companies can’t just clean up the mess and say “sorry” after a personal data breach. They can’t collect and use consumer data without oversight or plainly-worded disclosures. There are now stiff penalties for data breaches and data privacy violations. Organizations have to prove they are following GDPR compliant and taking steps to protect that data on day one. Transparency is the name of the game, a new notion to many organizations that have traditionally put data privacy on the back burner, much less tell consumers how they handle their data.
GDPR compliance may seem overwhelming right now, but in the long term, we expect to see better user/customer experiences, fewer data breaches, and greater trust between consumers and organizations regarding personal data.
12 Facts about GDPR (Including Non-Compliance Pitfalls and Overall GDPR Requirements)
Plenty is riding on GDPR compliance. At least one global survey found that 85 percent of U.S. companies believe that GDPR compliance regulations put them at a disadvantage with their European competitors. Yet, the same survey discovered the U.S. is the least trusted country for respecting data privacy rights. Even more, 67 percent of U.S. consumers agree that the U.S. should do more to protect their data privacy. GDPR compliance could do much to improve these negative perceptions.
To help you understand the rumors swirling about the GDPR, we put together this list of essential facts that you need to know. These critical items are your first steps toward improving your organization’s data security, protecting your data subjects’ personal information, and avoiding non-compliance issues.
1. The GDPR May Be An EU Mandate, But It Impacts Every Country
The European Union Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation in 2016 to replace a data protection initiative from 1995, but the changes weren’t enforced until May 25, 2018. There’s a misconception across the pond that U.S. companies that don’t do business with EU citizens or European companies are exempt. Not so fast.
The GDPR changes apply as much to organizations in other countries as they do to those within the EU. If any organization, EU or otherwise, offers goods or services to or monitors EU data subjects’ behavior, they’re on the hook.
2. GDPR Requirements Applies to Virtually All Kinds of Personal Data
The GDPR requirements govern almost every data point an organization would collect, across every conceivable online platform, especially if it’s used to uniquely identify a person. It also includes data routinely requested by websites, such as IP addresses, email addresses, and physical device information. Here’s a list of the types of personal data protected under the GDPR.
– Basic identity information (including name, address, email address, etc.)
– Web data such as location, IP address, cookie data, and RFID tags
– Health and genetic data
– Biometric data
– Racial or ethnic data
– Political opinions
– Sexual orientation
– Any information that relates to an identified or identifiable living individual
As you can imagine, “basic identity information” is a broad category. It includes user-generated data, such as social media posts, personal images uploaded to websites, medical records, and other uniquely personal information commonly transmitted online. Yes, that means organizations must protect your tweets and Facebook statuses.
3. GDPR Compliance Requires You to Respect Users Have 8 Basic Rights Regarding Personal Data and Data Privacy
The General Data Protection Regulation establishes eight rights that apply to all users. Your organization is obligated to respect these rights or face the severe penalties we discussed above.
– The right to access. Individuals may request access to their personal data. They may also ask about how their data is used, processed, stored, or transferred to other organizations. You must – provide an electronic copy of the personal data, free of charge if requested.
– The right to be informed. Individuals must be informed and give free consent (not implied) before gathering and processing their data.
– The right to data portability. Individuals may transfer their data from one service provider to another at any time. The transfer must happen in a commonly used and machine-readable format.
– The right to be forgotten. If users are no longer customers or withdraw their consent to use their personal data, they have the right to have their data deleted.
– The right to object. If a user objects to your use or processing of their data, they can request that you stop. There are no exceptions to this rule. All processing must stop as soon as the user makes their request.
– The right to restrict processing. Individuals can ask you to stop processing their data or stop a certain kind of processing. Their data can remain in place if they choose.
– The right to be notified. Individuals have the right to be notified in the event of a personal data breach that compromises their personal data. This must happen within 72 hours of your first learning of the breach.
– The right to rectification. Users can request that you update, complete, or correct their personal data.
As you can see, these rights give individuals considerable power over their data. They now have a number of tools to limit and prohibit you from using their personal information.
4. To Avoid Non-Compliance, You’ll Have to Designate a Representative in the EU
Most companies outside of the EU must designate a representative in the EU if they process EU residents’ personal data, but don’t have a European presence. If your U.S. company sells products online to customers in the EU or just has visitors to your website from the EU, you have to comply. The designated representative is there to contact EU supervisory authorities and data subjects and maintain processing records.
If you don’t already have a subsidiary in one of the EU countries, corporate affiliate, or external data protection officer, you can name an unaffiliated person or entity. Consider a “GDPR Representative as a Service,” where you pay a U.S. company a flat fee to name one of their EU representatives to act as yours, listing them as your EU contact to satisfy the GDPR. It’s a fast and easy way to ensure you are covered.
5. There Are Hefty Penalties for Non-Compliance with the GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation is a complete shift in thinking, and it’s safe to say many U.S.-based organizations are still scratching their heads. While there will be some grace period as companies learn their responsibilities and come up to speed, patience won’t last long. Companies must at least prove to officials that they are actively working towards accountability and compliance. Penalties for non-compliance are tiered and can be as high as 4 percent of global turnover, or $24.4 million, whichever is greater.
6. You Have to Switch from “Opt-Out” to “Opt-In” Mode of Collecting Personal Data
Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation means adopting the principle of affirmative consent. This requires you to switch from an “opt-out” approach of data collection and data processing to an “opt-in” approach. Instead of assuming user consent (by opting them in automatically and providing an opt-out method), you now must obtain explicit permission before you collect, store, and process their personal data. This new approach applies to everything, even if you’re just adding a customer’s email address to your newsletter list.
Furthermore, users don’t just have the right to decide whether they collect and use their data. They can also determine how you use it. They have the legal right to question and appeal on how their personal information is presented to themselves and others. For instance, a user might object to Google’s use of their data to refine their algorithm and show content to other users. Or a user might choose to opt-out entirely at any point due to their right to be forgotten, in which case it’s your responsibility to scrub their data from your systems.
7. GDPR Compliance Doesn’t Let You Hide Behind Legalese and Dodge GDPR Requirements
Does anyone read the fine print or the pages of data privacy policies? Likely not. Pew Research reported that half of online Americans don’t even know what a privacy notice is. General Data Protection Regulation requirements prohibit companies from hiding behind illegible terms and conditions that are difficult to understand.
Instead, GDPR compliance requires companies to clearly define their data privacy policies and make them easily accessible. They must explain how they engage in data processing of personal data and what they do with it. Furthermore, they can’t write privacy policies that absolve them from responding to a personal data breach.
There’s another caveat: You also have to know and monitor your vendors and their vendors’ privacy policies to be sure they are GDPR compliant when they use your EU users’ data. You could be held accountable for their compliance under the General Data Protection Regulation.
8. GDPR Requirements Set Time Limits for Breach Notifications
When a personal data breach happens and threatens consumer data privacy rights, companies are on the clock to report the incident within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach. Data processors (typically the data protection officer) must notify their customers right away. This may be one of the most significant changes in practice for U.S. companies. More than half have no incident response procedures in place, and nearly 60 percent do not even share information about their data breaches. Equifax took six weeks to report a breach that impacted up to 143 million Americans.
Consumer patience is running thin. With the GDPR changes, companies who must comply will have to pay penalty fees for such behavior. These requirements force companies to take data breaches seriously and implement security measures to protect its data subjects.
9. The GDPR Obligates You to Answer to Data Subject’s Requests in Regards to Their Personal Data
The GDPR requirements give consumers (a.k.a. data subjects) the right to ask companies for the information they hold on them. Companies must be able to provide them with what they want within a month.
These “data subject access requests” force organizations to know where their collected data is at all times, what information is being collected, how it’s being used by whom, and when it’s being accessed. If the consumer finds an error, the organization must correct the error (called “rectification”). If the customer opts to invoke their “right to be forgotten,” the company must erase their data (called “erasure”). If the consumer doesn’t like how their personal data is being collected and used, they can object.
As you can imagine, this is one of the most significant portions of the data protection law because it forces organizations to be transparent with their processing activities and personal information they store and process. Organizations can no longer hide what they know.
Most U.S.-based organizations are behind when it comes to having this data at their fingertips. Big data is big, and it isn’t always in the same place. Customer data can be in core operational systems, cloud applications, online file-sharing services, removable media, physical storage cabinets, third-party providers, temporary files, sandbox systems, backup systems, and employee devices, just to name a few.
Ultimately, gaining control over this data benefits both the organization and the consumer. Forbes believes GDPR compliance has five benefits: enhanced cybersecurity, improved data management, increased marketing ROI, boosted audience loyalty and trust, and the opportunity to become the first to establish a new business culture. If that’s not enough, consider the alternative penalty fines for non-compliance. GDPR compliance, therefore, won’t happen overnight, and it may be a painful process. But, even as you improve your transparency game, you’ll gain visibility into your vendors’ data compliance practices at the same time, forcing all companies to do better or get left behind.
10. You May Need to Hire a Data Protection Officer to Manage GDPR Requirements
As a data controller, the General Data Protection Regulation creates a legal obligation to hire a Data Protection Officer (DPO). This person is an enterprise security leadership role that’s responsible for overseeing a company’s data protection strategy, monitoring data storage and data transfer operations, educating and training employees on regulatory compliance, implementing policies to ensure compliance with the GDPR, responding to data subject access requests, and serving as the point of contact between the organization and GDPR Supervisory Authorities. You must hire one if…
– Your organization is a public authority (i.e., controls or maintains public infrastructure or has the authority to regulate public property).
– Your organization is engaged in large-scale systematic monitoring of user data.
– Your organization processes large volumes of personal user data.
The size of your organization is irrelevant here. What matters is the size of your data processing operation. But as you’re probably thinking, “large-scale” and “large volumes” are nebulous terms. The regulation doesn’t offer clear definitions. We have to make our best guess for now until the regulation is amended or clarified in the courts.
11. Cloud-Based Storage is Not Exempt from the General Data Protection Regulation
Like many organizations, you may use a cloud-based storage provider to house your data, such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, of Amazon Web Services. This practice does not offload your data processing responsibilities to the cloud storage provider. Many organizations make the mistake of assuming their cloud storage providers are compliant, but that isn’t always the case.
To ensure GDPR compliance, you must ensure that your cloud service provider and the systems you use to integrate with that provider abide by GDPR requirements. This is another reason it’s helpful to hire a data protection officer.
12. The General Data Protection Regulation Prioritizes Human Rights Over the User Experience
It’s essential to keep in mind that the purpose of the GDPR is to protect consumers on data privacy issues. It’s an ambitious, far-reaching piece of legislation designed to safeguard our privacy and give us agency over our data. There’s no doubt that GDPR compliance creates challenges for all organizations, especially those whose models rely heavily on robust data processing. Compliance requires one-time and recurring costs, new policies and procedures, education and training, and even new employees.
The framers of the GDPR are aware of those challenges. Still, while they understand your frustration, they feel – and we at Osano agree – that users’ rights are paramount, even at the expense of the user experience. At a time when nearly every conceivable data point of our lives is stored online, we are remarkably vulnerable to theft and exploitation, and so require concrete safeguards to protect ourselves.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is SMS-iT?
SMS-iT is an all-encompassing platform that includes SMS-iT CRM and a diverse ecosystem of 22+ Smart Tools, all powered by advanced AI. These tools cover a wide array of functionalities, from lead acquisition and nurturing to sales management and client retention.
Additionally, SMS-iT offers unique features like simcard integration with warming technology, specialized pipeline automation, and an ecosystem of 30 SMS gateways. The platform's strength lies in its ability to revolutionize customer engagement through cutting-edge technology and automation. With SMS-iT, businesses can scale faster, save costs, and stay ahead in an ever-evolving market.
What is SMS-iT CRM?
SMS-iT is a semi-sentient communication focused CRM for sales and marketing. SMS-iT CRM is an all-in-one system designed for infinite growth, providing a comprehensive suite of tools for lead acquisition, client nurturing, sales management, and client retention. It offers more than 50 sales and marketing tools, including built-in artificial intelligence, unlimited calling and texting, smart inbox with messaging channels, funnel and site builder, social media planner, appointment booking system, and much more.
Additionally, SMS-iT CRM stands out with features like SIM card integration, advanced AI capabilities for messaging and marketing, an ecosystem of 30 SMS gateways, and blockchain and IoT capabilities. This platform is tailored to help businesses scale faster and save costs on their monthly software expenses.
SMS-iT is like having an all-in-one supercharged CRM. It uses AI to handle everything from marketing and sales to messaging and calling, across multiple channels. It’s as if you combined the best features of Salesforce, GHL, and Flowtrack into a single, powerhouse platform. And this is just the beginning – once we unleash our full range of features, you’ll witness a CRM that’s truly in a league of its own.
What is SMS-iT's Business Model?
SMS-iT is revolutionizing the way small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) manage their sales and marketing efforts with its cutting-edge Semi-Sentient communication focused CRM. Here's a detailed business model outlining its key components and value proposition:
Target Market: SMS-iT primarily targets SMBs across various industries who are seeking to streamline their sales and marketing processes and achieve sustainable growth.
Comprehensive Suite of Tools: SMS-iT offers an extensive suite of over 50 sales and marketing tools, including lead acquisition, client nurturing, sales management, and client retention features. This all-in-one platform caters to the diverse needs of SMBs, eliminating the need for multiple fragmented solutions.
Artificial Intelligence Integration: SMS-iT leverages built-in artificial intelligence to automate and optimize various aspects of sales and marketing. From personalized messaging to predictive analytics, AI enhances efficiency and effectiveness across the CRM platform.
Multi-Channel Communication: The CRM provides seamless integration with various communication channels, including unlimited calling and texting, smart inbox with messaging channels, and social media planner. This enables SMBs to engage with their leads and clients through their preferred channels, enhancing customer experience.
Advanced Features: SMS-iT stands out with advanced features such as SIM card integration, blockchain, and IoT capabilities. These features enable businesses to leverage emerging technologies for enhanced communication, security, and automation.
Scalability and Cost Efficiency: SMS-iT is designed for infinite growth, allowing businesses to scale their operations without worrying about outgrowing their CRM system. Moreover, by consolidating multiple tools into a single platform and offering competitive pricing plans, SMS-iT helps SMBs save costs on their monthly software expenses.
Ecosystem Integration: The CRM seamlessly integrates with a network of 30 SMS gateways, ensuring reliable and efficient communication with leads and clients. This ecosystem approach enhances connectivity and accessibility for SMBs, regardless of their geographic location or communication preferences.
Unique Value Proposition: SMS-iT combines the best features of leading CRM platforms like Salesforce, GHL, and Flowtrack, offering SMBs a comprehensive and supercharged solution for their sales and marketing needs. With continuous innovation and the promise of unleashing additional features, SMS-iT aims to establish itself as the premier CRM platform for SMBs.
Customer Support and Training: SMS-iT provides robust customer support and training resources to ensure that SMBs can maximize the value of the CRM platform. From onboarding assistance to ongoing technical support, SMS-iT is committed to helping its customers succeed in their sales and marketing endeavors.
Overall, SMS-iT's business model revolves around empowering SMBs with a state-of-the-art CRM solution that combines advanced technology, comprehensive features, scalability, and cost efficiency. By catering to the unique needs of SMBs and delivering exceptional value, SMS-iT aims to drive growth and success for its customers while establishing itself as a leader in the CRM market.
What are the available Smart Tools in SMS-iT CRM?
We currently have 22+ Smart Tools in SMS-iT CRM, which includes:
1. Auto Responders: These are automated responses that can be triggered based on specific keywords, actions, or time triggers. They help provide instant replies to messages, ensuring quick customer engagement.
2. Auto Responder Chatbot: This is an automated chatbot that interacts with users based on predefined rules and algorithms. It can handle various tasks and inquiries without human intervention.
3. Birthday SMS Wishes: This feature allows businesses to automatically send personalized birthday wishes to their customers via SMS. It's a thoughtful way to engage and build rapport with customers.
4. Blogger: This tool likely allows for the creation and management of blog content, which can be integrated with your CRM system for marketing purposes.
5. Contests: This feature enables you to run competitions or giveaways, engaging your audience and potentially increasing brand awareness or customer loyalty.
6. Contracts: This feature could involve the management and tracking of business contracts, ensuring that all parties involved adhere to the agreed-upon terms.
7. Fundraising Kiosk: This tool facilitates collecting donations or funds through a digital kiosk or platform, making it convenient for supporters to contribute to a cause.
8. GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer): GPT is an AI model known for its advanced natural language processing capabilities. In this context, it may be used to enhance communication and interactions with customers.
9. Kiosk Builder: This tool likely allows you to design and create interactive kiosk interfaces, which can be used for various purposes like information dissemination, surveys, or collecting feedback.
10. Loyalty Programs: This feature enables businesses to implement and manage loyalty programs, where customers are rewarded for their repeat business or other specified actions.
11. Mobile Coupons: This allows you to distribute coupons or special offers to customers via mobile devices, providing an incentive for them to make a purchase or take a specific action.
12. Mobile Page Builder: This tool helps you design and create mobile-friendly web pages. These pages can be optimized for various purposes, such as product promotions, event information, or lead generation.
13. NON-GSM Character Checker: This is likely a tool that helps verify and manage characters that may not be compatible with GSM networks, ensuring that messages are delivered accurately.
14. Polls: This feature enables you to create and distribute polls or surveys to your audience, gathering valuable feedback or data for market research.
15. Q&A SMS Bots: This involves using automated bots to engage with customers and provide answers to their questions via SMS, enhancing customer support and service.
16. QR Codes: QR codes are scannable barcodes that can be used to direct users to specific online content, such as websites, apps, or promotional materials.
17. Short Links: These are condensed versions of URLs that redirect users to specific web pages. They are useful for sharing concise, easy-to-remember links.
18. Sites: This likely refers to the ability to create and manage websites or landing pages within the CRM system, providing a platform for online presence and engagement.
- Funnel: The funnel represents the stages a customer goes through before making a purchase or taking a desired action. It typically includes stages like awareness, consideration, and conversion. This tool helps design and track customer journeys through various stages.
- Website: This tool involves the creation and management of websites within the CRM system. It allows businesses to have an online presence where they can provide information, showcase products or services, and engage with their audience.
- Blogs: This tool allows for the creation and management of blog content. Blogs are a way to share informative and engaging content with your audience, which can help drive traffic to your website and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
- Membership: This tool allow you to create and manage membership programs or areas within your website. This can be used for exclusive content, special offers, or community engagement with your loyal customers.
- Forms: Forms are interactive elements on a website where visitors can input information. This tool allows you to create and customize forms for various purposes such as lead generation, contact forms, surveys, and more.
- Surveys: This tool enables you to create and distribute surveys to your audience. Surveys are useful for gathering feedback, conducting market research, and understanding customer preferences.
- Chat Widget: The chat widget is a small interface element on a website that allows visitors to engage in real-time chat with a representative. It provides an instant way for visitors to get answers to their questions or receive assistance. It is powered by AI, and you can train the AI using Text, Website URL, Chat Logs, User Feedback and Industry-Specific Knowledge.
- URL Redirects: This tool allows you to manage the redirection of URLs. It means that when a user tries to access a specific URL, you can configure it to redirect them to another page or website. This can be used for various purposes like rebranding, tracking campaigns, or ensuring a smooth user experience.
19. Social Planner: This tool helps schedule and manage social media posts and campaigns, ensuring consistent and strategic communication across various platforms.
20. Text To Win (Sweepstakes): This feature allows you to run text message-based sweepstakes or contests, where participants can enter by sending a specific keyword via SMS.
21. Video Ads: This involves the creation and distribution of video advertisements, which can be used to promote products, services, or events to a wider audience.
22. Web Sign-up Widget: This widget likely provides a user-friendly way for visitors to your website to sign up for newsletters, promotions, or other forms of communication, helping you capture leads and build your customer base.
What is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for SMS-iT CRM?
At SMS-iT CRM, we redefine the landscape of Customer Relationship Management with a suite of unprecedented features and capabilities that set us apart from the competition. Here's why SMS-iT CRM is the unrivaled choice for modern businesses:
1. Simcard Integration with Warming Technology: Our cutting-edge simcard integration with warming technology ensures seamless communication, providing a superior edge in customer engagement.
2. AI Integration for Messaging and Marketing: Our AI isn't just powerful; it's trainable across various data sources including Website Text, Chat Logs, User Feedback, Industry Specific Data, YouTube, PDFs, Sitemaps, DOC files, Code Docs, and Notion. This means your AI gets smarter and more attuned to your business.
3. Comprehensive Suite of Smart Tools: With over 22 smart tools powered by AI, we offer an extensive toolkit to streamline your operations, from messaging to analytics, ensuring efficiency at every turn.
4. Appointment AI Bot: Our AI Bot revolutionizes appointment scheduling, ensuring seamless coordination between your team and clients, reducing friction in the booking process.
5. Specialized Pipeline Automation: Tailored to your industry, our automation processes optimize your sales pipelines, maximizing conversions and revenue.
6. Wide Ecosystem of 30 SMS Gateways: We provide unparalleled access to a network of 30 SMS gateways, ensuring reliable and swift message delivery to your audience.
7. Smart Analytics for Informed Decision-Making: Leverage our smart analytics to gain deep insights into customer behavior and engagement patterns, empowering you to make data-driven decisions.
8. AI Recommendation Page: Our AI interprets data intelligently, presenting actionable recommendations that drive your business forward.
9. Staff AI: Augment your team's capabilities with Staff AI, an AI-powered virtual assistance, enhancing productivity and responsiveness.
10. iOT Capability: Seamlessly integrate with IoT devices for a connected experience that amplifies customer engagement.
11. Blockchain Capability: Secure your data and transactions with our blockchain integration, ensuring utmost trust and transparency in your operations.
12. Omnichannel Messaging and Marketing in the Metaverse : Stay at the forefront of technology by expanding your outreach to the metaverse, ensuring your brand is where your audience is.
13. Geo Location Marketing : Pinpoint your target audience based on their geographical location, delivering hyper-targeted marketing messages for maximum impact.
In a crowded CRM market, SMS-iT CRM stands tall with its unparalleled combination of technology, customization, and innovation. Elevate your customer relationships with the CRM that leads the way into the future. Choose SMS-iT CRM today.
Can SMS-iT Integrate Into GHL?
Yes. We’ve built a robust integration that allows users to integrate their SIM cards and choose from 8 other gateways to send SMS from within the GHL platform.
Is using a SIM card legal?
Can I have support transferring from my old CRM to the SMS-iT platform?
Is there any catch with the free trial of SMS-iT?
How regularly is the software being updated?
Will SMS-iT provide sub-accounts?
Can I have multiple SIM cards and gateways in my main account without having to purchase extra sub-accounts?
Yes. It only costs $10 bucks per additional SIM card and additional gateway. So if you wanted to rotate 5 sim cards. It would be an extra $50 per month, and that also includes 5 extra gateways.