5 ways to ensure GDPR-compliant messaging

Sara Ana Cemazar
January 16, 2024
min read

Since the European Union’s landmark General Data Protection Regulation came into effect in 2018, a lot has happened in terms of data security and protection. Many businesses find it comparatively more challenging to handle customer data. Plus, they often have to endure hefty fines and penalties. 

However, by carefully investing in GDPR-compliant messaging tools and best practices, businesses can transform challenges into opportunities. Read the blog post to understand the best practices that you must follow to achieve GDPR compliance.  

What is GDPR-compliant messaging, and why does it matter?

The GDPR is considered one of the most stringent consumer privacy laws and regulates the collection, access, usage, and processing of personal data within the EU.  

Businesses that use messaging tools must prioritize adherence to GDPR while selecting the tools and determining the communication flows. Also, GDPR regulates how you must manage the personal data of customers while responding to their queries and sending sales messages. 

Here is why GDPR-compliant messaging matters:

1. Minimize data breaches

An IBM study shows that the global cost of a data breach in 2023 was 4.45 million USD, which has increased by 15% in the last three years. Complying with GDPR requires stringent encryption protocols and security measures that safeguard your business data from breaches

2. Secure customer trust

Customers are more likely to trust businesses with GDPR-compliant messaging tools than those without. Customers prefer to be safe to deal with businesses with stringent data security measures. 

3. Avoid fines and penalties

Not complying with GDPR may lead to hefty fines. In 2023, €2.1 billion were collected as fines for non-compliance with GDPR. Choosing GDPR-compliant messaging tools helps avoid such financial penalties. 

4. Data integrity

GDPR compliance requires that businesses clean up their data periodically. This helps them mitigate redundancies and weed off old data that may impact business analytics and decisions.  

How do we ensure GDPR compliance when messaging customers?

Companies must follow some best practices to ensure GDPR compliance while messaging customers:

1. Obtain user consent

Before sending messages to customers, you must seek explicit, informed consent. Communicate the purpose of data collection and also offer an option for them to opt in and opt out of receiving messages.     

2. Secure messaging storing

Ensure customer conversations and metadata are stored safely with necessary user controls. Conduct regular audits and update the system periodically. Ensure that all the messaging data, along with the headers, are secure.  It's best when organizations can exercise data sovereignty.

3. End-to-end encryption

Implement end-to-end encryption to ensure the messages are received only by the desired recipients. Also, ensure that the data is encrypted in transit as well as at rest to promote the safe transfer of messages. 

4. Enable user rights: message deletion

Offer complete rights over their data to their customers. If the users wish to delete the data or message they have sent, you must allow them to do so within a specific timeframe. 

For instance, a firm may include this in its data compliance policy. “Our messaging policies adhere to GDPR. We take utmost care in storing user data securely. Users have the right to modify or delete their data and messages stored with us within 45 days.”

5. Minimize personal data use

Work out data minimization strategies while collecting and storing personal data. Review information periodically and remove redundancies. Also, while sending messages, minimize the amount of personal data usage. 

GDPR-compliant messaging tools

Now that you are aware of the best practices let us have a look at the GDPR-compliant messaging tools. 

1. Rocket.Chat

GDPR compliant messaging

Rocket.Chat is a popular, GDPR-compliant messaging tool known for its stringent data security measures. It has end-to-end encryption, custom access controls, two-factor authentication, and device management features to protect user data. 

Above all, it can be deployed on-premises and on the cloud. The choice of deployment and stringent security controls make Rocket.Chat a highly secure collaboration tool for businesses functioning in highly regulated industries like healthcare, banking, defense, etc. 

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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2. Signal

GDPR compliant messaging

Signal is a widely used instant messaging and calling application. It supports text, voice, and video communication. The messages are end-to-end encrypted to ensure data security. They are stored on the device locally, and the Signal application does not access the data. It also uses data minimization to ensure that the application stores and uses only the essential customer data. 

3. Threema

GDPR compliant messaging

Threema is a GDPR-compliant messaging tool that can be used without gathering the customer's personal information like phone number, email address, etc. Businesses can also use Threema without granting access to their address book. It's deemed as one of the most secure messaging apps on the market.

Threema is compliant with EU and Swiss laws and can be used to communicate with customers through voice, video, and text. 

4. Wire

GDPR compliant messaging

Wire is a leading communication tool that helps businesses interact with voice, video, and text. Data in files, images, videos, audio, etc., are end-to-end encrypted. 

Also, Wire does not have access to the business data, and it has multiple security layers. It lets the users delete the conversation anytime. The business account information is stored only during the period of service and deleted during account closure. 

5. Messagio

GDPR compliant messaging

Messagio is a robust omnichannel communication platform. It is a GDPR-compliant messaging tool and has an exclusive security team and data protection officer. It has built-in spam filtering, HTTPS encryption, and robust API security features. The businesses can own the user profile data and delete them at their discretion. 

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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