Note: this post does not contain legal advice. Always work with your legal counsel to determine the right decisions to make about regulations.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming for all of us. It's a set of EU laws and they apply to EU citizens. That means that even if your businesses is not in the EU, you're still potentially on the hook, because people from the EU can access your website.
At Thrive Themes, we have been hard at work to help you keep your website GDPR compliant in the easiest and most seamless ways possible.
In this post, you'll discover the GDPR related features that we've already released and get up to date information about the ones we're still working on.
What Do You Need to Know About GDPR?
This is not a post about GDPR and what it means for online businesses. There is plenty of content on that topic already. If you aren't familiar with GDPR and what it may mean for you yet, here are some useful resources for you:
- Read the official guidelines here.
- This Hubspot post is a good "in normal English" summary of what GDPR means for online marketing.
- This post goes deeper into what compliance means under different scenarios, specifically for marketing automation.
At Thrive Themes, we're currently working on feature additions in our products that will make it easier for you to stay GDPR compliant. Here are the features and their current implementation status:
Lead Generation Checkboxes for Explicit Consent
Thrive Leads, Thrive Architect, Thrive Quiz Builder
For lead generation forms created with our tools, we released a feature to add an optional checkbox for consent. This is so that you can have subscribers tick a box that says something like "I agree to receiving a newsletter and understand that I can unsubscribe any time". This way, you have proof of their explicit consent to receive messages from you. Learn how this feature works.
Data Overview, Export & Removal
An important part of GDPR is the citizen's right to know what data about them is being collected and the right to have that data deleted.
The WordPress team announced that a data export and removal tool will be added as a core feature. After a few delays, the beta version of this tool was finally released a few days ago. This is good news, because it means we can add data tracked by Thrive Themes products to this tool and you will have a central solution for managing data not only from our products, but from any other plugins and tools you might use (as long as they integrate with this WordPress feature).
Anonymized Data in Thrive Quiz Builder
Thrive Quiz Builder
Thrive Quiz Builder can be used to gather insights about your audience, such as their personal preferences, their age range and gender or anything else you care to ask during a quiz.
We're about to release a new profiling feature which allows you to toggle between two types of data collection: anonymized and personal.
Personal data collection means you can see which visitor gave which answers, exactly. This requires explicit consent under GDPR. Anonymized means you can see the overall, averaged out results, but you can't track individual answers back to individual users.
Eliminating & Encrypting Personally Identifiable Information in Cookies
Cookies are an important convenience tool all across the Internet. Without cookies, you'd have to log back into every website where you have an account, every time you return there.
Proof of Opt-In
In the Thrive Leads reporting area, you can see a list of all leads that have signed up and you can see which of your Thrive Leads opt-in forms they have signed up for.
This counts as proof of consent: you can show that the contact with this email address signed up on your website, through a specific form. In other words: you didn't just send this person a spam message they never agreed to receive.
The deadline for GDPR compliance is May 25, 2018. Our team released all of our planned GDPR compliance features before this date and the last integration came into action with the WordPress update to version 4.9.6.
Coming up, we plan to extend and improve the lead generation element, to make the entire setup flow simpler. We have a good solution, but the flow was built without checkboxes in mind. Our next update will give you more advanced options and make things even easier.
Further, we are keeping an eye on GDPR features that are released by services we integrate with. Where it makes sense to do so, we will also update our integrations.
If you have any questions or feedback about this, please let us know by leaving a comment below.
P.S.: If you're looking for the previous update video we created about GDPR features, click below.