If you operate in any of the more than 26 states with new privacy laws going into effect, Yes.

 

Check out this recent article from Axios for a quick overview of the rapidly changing world of privacy in the U.S.

So what does that have to do with chat?

Chat is one of the best ways to engage with clients and website visitors. But companies can no longer have just any chat platform. Like all of their data systems that could send or store personal information (names, addresses, emails, financial info, etc.), the chat platforms will need to meet new privacy law requirements that will protect that data.

As more and more states in the United States are enacting data privacy laws (following data privacy laws in the European Union), we want to remind you of a few helpful security best practices to look into as you research SaaS products, and specifically, chat providers.

1. Securely manage all confidential data

 

Confidential information comes in the form of personal identifying information–basically any information that when used together, could let an outsider identify and/or find the person. It also includes credit card information, images of customers or prospects, Social Security numbers, and more. Keep your business compliant with up-to-date security requirements and provide site visitors and clients peace of mind.

 

“We must adhere to strict security regulations from highly regulated states like California. Compliance with GDPR and HIPAA was a key factor in selecting SnapEngage as a partner.” 

Marketing Innovation Manager at a global moving company

2. View and filter all live chat account changes

 

As your business grows, more and more individuals may have access and accounts within your data systems. Having a proper audit system in place provides much-needed checks and balances when monitoring account changes.

 

“In addition to HIPAA compliance, the ability to send and receive images and secure data is indispensable. These are ‘WOW’ factors for our clients, they are amazed.”

 

 

-Jenna Vallejo, COO, Potomac Pediatrics

 

3. If you do business internationally, be aware of GDPR

 

The European Union (EU) has had data privacy laws in place for quite some time. Called the General Data Protection Regulation, it mandates strict requirements for any business doing business with European or UK customers. Look for software that satisfies the EU’s data privacy laws, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Aligning your business with GDPR allows for secure communication with clients in the Americas and the EU.

 

4. If you’re a healthcare provider or service those organizations, safeguard patient data

HIPAA-compliance: Usually reserved for United States healthcare providers or any business possessing Protected Health Information (PHI), and is considered one of the most intense forms of compliance for the commitment to privacy, security, and transactions. If your business or state has in-depth security laws, HIPAA compliance, as the gold standard, is a safe avenue to take.

 

Choosing new software for your business is not easy. Use your internal team and don’t be afraid to reach out to other industry experts to see what has worked for them. Use your community to make informed decisions, and be prepared to learn as you go. The right software can upgrade your business in a big way, be patient in the process.