Frequently Asked Questions about LiveChat’s GDPR compliance
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the result of many years work by the European Union to unify and strengthen data protection for all EU citizens. Taking care of your and your customers’ privacy is our number one priority.
GDPR gives you more control over how your data is used, while to us, it will be a simple legal environment where we can operate. That makes this change desirable for both parties!
The new regulation has come into effect on the 25th May 2018 and we are glad to report that LiveChat has now fulfilled all the required regulations to become fully GDPR compliant.
Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions regarding GDPR compliance. If you can’t find an answer that relates to your question, please let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org – we will reply as soon as possible and update this document.
01. What has LiveChat done about the GDPR?
We take our responsibilities under the GDPR seriously. That’s why we have taken steps to identify which measures we need to implement to be compliant with the GDPR. Here : https://www.livechatinc.com/general-data-protection-regulation/ is a quick summary of what we’ve done.
02. What organisation provides services and stores my data? Is LiveChat a data controller or a data processor?
03. What data does LiveChat process?
04. What is the basis for personal data processing? Is customers consent required?
This is why another consent for data processing by LiveChat is not required. However, you may need to gain consent for data processing from your customers/users/visitors. We have created a tool to help you gain such consent. If you think you need it, please refer to point 10.
05. Am I a data controller or a data processor?
Firstly, you need to figure out if you process or provide personal data of the EU citizens. For instance, if you are an Australian company and you only process Australian citizens data, GDPR does not apply to you. However, if you process personal data of the European citizens, you need to comply with this regulation. You or your company (organisation) may then act as a data controller. It happens when you are a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body and you, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. But you may act as a data processor. It happens when – as a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body – you processes personal data on behalf of the controller. Simply, when you do not determine the purposes of processing but use data according to the controllers’ instructions.
06. Do I need to enter into a Data Processing Agreement/Addendum?
Regardless of being a data controller or a data processor, when you transfer the personal data to us (and you do so using our service) you may enter into DPA with us if you transfer any EU citizens personal data.
07. Do you have a GDPR compliant Data Processing Agreement/Addendum for us to sign?
Yes, we have prepared this document for our customers. You can review and sign a copy of LiveChat’s Data Processing Addendum here: https://app.hellosign.com/s/183ca49b. Instructions for execution are set out in the Addendum. If you have any questions about its contents you can email: email@example.com
08. How my personal data are used/processed in LiveChat? How can I execute my right to be forgotten?
09. What can I do to become GDPR compliant using LiveChat? How to prepare the chat for GDPR?
LiveChat also stores/process personal data of your visitors (end users of your chat). Especially we store a data provided in pre-chat survey, so if you collect your visitors personal data through the pre-chat survey you may need to gain their consent. You can find the instruction how to customise your pre-chat survey to comply with this rule here: https://www.livechatinc.com/kb/prepare-chat-gdpr. If you wish and if they meet your company’s requirements, you can use one of (or more than one) the clauses we have prepared for you. The clauses can be found here: https://www.livechatinc.com/kb/chat-surveys#pre-chat-gdpr
10. Where does LiveChat store personal data? Are personal data processed outside the EU?
LiveChat stores its customers’ data mainly in a data center in Dallas (Texas) U.S. We also have a data center in Europe (Frankfurt). When you sign up and create an account in one of our services your data are automatically collected and stored in our U.S. data center (regardless you are signing up from EU or other part of the world). If you want to have your data stored in the EU, you need to sign up via https://my.livechatinc.com/signup?region=fra. Also, note that currently it’s not possible to transfer your chats to the other data center, but we can help in creating a new account for you thus your personal data provided for creating the new account as well as future conversations will be stored in a European data center. Additionally similar to many SaaS providers, we use a top-tier, third-party data hosting providers (Amazon S3, IBM Softlayer and Google) to host our online services.
11. Does LiveChat share any of personal data with any sub processors (other entities)?
To make our services to work properly we use other companies’ services (generally a software). We do so to improve our tools, enable, and simplify its usage. If there is a necessity to give other processor an access to a part of your data firstly we make sure that this company will gain only an actually necessary data (i.e. only an email address for email service provider). Secondly we enter into agreement with such company (sub-processor) to make sure they provide at least the same level of protection as we do. You can find more information about rules of subprocessing in our DPA and here is a current list of our subprocessors: https://www.livechatinc.com/kb/livechat-third-party-data-processors/
12. How does LiveChat choose and verify sub-processors?
We are committed to comply with GDPR and accordingly to transfer personal data lawfully. This is why we work only with third party service providers from Europe (EOG) or countries recognized by the European Commission as providing an adequate protection of personal data (mostly the United States). We have verified all the sub-processors we cooperate with currently. Besides the above ‘location requirement’ we made sure they are GDPR compliant and – if based in the US – Privacy Shield certified (or – if based in another country recognized as secured – are the subject of a similar agreement and adequate obligations due to the data protection). Also before appointing a new subprocessor, we make sure the data you provide us with will be securely and lawfully transferred. We choose providers only based in EOG and the US (or another secure country such as Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand. We verify if the provider is GDPR compliant and Privacy Shield certified. Only if we are sure your data will be transferred and stored securely we will work with the provider. If the data transfer was not secured by the mentioned measures we would apply additional measures (i.e. Standard Contractual Clauses), to transfer data in line with the GDPR.
13. Does LiveChat plan to appoint a Data Protection Officer?
14. What security measures does LiveChat implement to protect the data? Are the data encrypted and if so, to what standards?
As a company offering its services in SaaS model, we are aware that security of our customers and their data is crucial. We treat security as a basic aspect of our business. We know that it is a matter of trust. This is why we have implemented a number of safeguards even before GDPR was adopted. Currently, we made sure our safeguards comply with the Regulation and adjust some new if necessary. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our security overview: https://www.livechatinc.com/kb/livechat-security-and-data-storage/.
15. Does LiveChat carry out external penetration tests on the application? If so, how frequently?
LiveChat uses external auditors to verify the adequacy of its security measures, including the security of the physical data centers. This audits are performed at least annually and include penetration tests.
16. How does LiveChat comply with the EU export restrictions?
When personal data is hosted or processed outside of the European Economic Area, GDPR requires that it remains protected by appropriate safeguards in line with EU law. There are a few ways that LiveChat achieves this.
Firstly, most of our EU customers’ data is processed in the United States (where our Headquarters are located). The United States is recognised by the EU as an ‘adequate’ country (i.e. safe country) to receive and process EU personal data, pursuant to European Commission Decision 2013/65/EU. According to the GDPR a transfer of personal data to a third country may take place where the Commission has decided that the third country ensures an adequate level of protection. Such transfer shall not require any specific authorisation.
In the event we process EU customers data in other territories, we ensure appropriate safeguards are in place that are prescribed by GDPR – i.e., by entering into the Data Processing Agreements with the entity the data is transferred to, or by ensuring the entity is Privacy Shield certified (for transfers to US based entities).
17. Is LiveChat Privacy Shield certified?
The EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks were designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the European Commission and Swiss Administration, respectively, to provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States in support of transatlantic commerce.
We are Privacy Shield certified to the Department of Commerce. You can find our certification here: https://www.privacyshield.gov/participant?id=a2zt0000000L16xAAC&status=Active
18. How long do you hold the personal data for?
It’s possible to request periodic data purge; in order to do that, please write a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with information: which chats should be deleted, how often do you want to delete them, what time these chats and tickets should be deleted (hour + timezone).
19. Does LiveChat has an incident management process in place?
Yes, we have it in place. In case of any management incident we are ready to take a reaction immediately to protect your data from unjustified disclosure or any other infringement.
20. What are your processes for identifying and remediating vulnerabilities in your application and the underlying software and infrastructure?
a) Running an external audit, fixing all found vulnerabilities, testing the implemented fix and iterating this procedure until the issue is fixed;
b) Periodic systems scanning with tools for automatic issue recognition.
21. What process should we follow if we suspect that a security breach has occurred?
Contact support via email@example.com or chat on our website.
22. Have you had any information security breaches in the last 12 months?
No, we haven’t any. You can follow the website https://status.livechatinc.com/ where we report about any security issues and incidents.
23. Who is responsible for Information Security?
24. Do you have a DR plan? How quickly could you restore from a data backup if you suffered a major loss and what is the maximum amount of data that might be lost?
We do have a DR plan, each part of the system can be restored from 24 to 48 hours (considering a complete disaster). Moreover, each instance of the whole infrastructure is multiplied, so losing a single instance will not cause service degrading. Provided time refers to a flood scale of disaster.
25. Are we able to take a full copy of our data in a standard format (e.g. CSV)? Is it possible to export all chats and tickets using your API in a JSON format, that can be easily converted to CSV?
Yes, it is possible to download the copy of data in JSON, please refer to https://www.livechatinc.com/kb/prepare-chat-gdpr/ to check how you can get your LiveChat data.
26. Do you have any DDoS protection in place?
Yes, we do have DDoS protection provided by Akamai.
27. Is the application single tenant or multi-tenant? If multi-tenant, what steps have been taken to secure the data from being accessed by other tenants?
The application is multi-tenant, data for each license is accessible only to accounts assigned to the license, so the person that wants the access to a license data, needs a corresponding login and password. This is the basic logic behind the whole application infrastructure, it’s not possible to access other users’ data, as the access request without needed credentials will be considered unauthorized call and denied. Also one set of credentials (login + password) can be used for one license only.
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