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GDPR in video conferencing

Dominik Berger
October 14, 2021

Four years ago, the European Union revolutionized digital privacy laws by passing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation aims to enhance the protection and control of personal data for individuals and businesses operating in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. 

GDPR also targets businesses that do not have any presence in the EU but operate on the European market or monitor the behavior of European individuals. Since being enforced in 2018, countries abroad have aligned their practice to comply with the new regulations. 

GDPR has played an important role during the pandemic. With the shift to remote work, finding communication tools that protect personal data from security gaps has been essential for businesses.

How is GDPR affecting video conferencing?

When it comes to video, audio, and other data transmission, GDPR requires observing a comprehensive set of rules. It regulates end-to-end data encryption, profiling, data transfers, retention periods, and data transparency. 

To ensure fair and transparent processes, providers must not use data related to staff, clients, and suppliers for their own purposes or personal gain. Recordings must be stored securely with access limited only to the data protection officer (DPO) or other designated roles within the organization. 

Companies must also establish clear reasons to transfer data abroad, especially with providers outside the EU and the EEA. Additionally, businesses in the U.S. must sign the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement before exchanging personal data for commercial purposes between continents.

How Digital Samba protects your data

Digital Samba fully complies with the General Data Protection Regulation. We take customer security and data privacy seriously, so we've worked continuously with our engineering, product, security, and legal teams to guarantee that our product and legal terms meet GPDR requirements. These are the steps we’ve taken in order to protect our global audience.

  • We reviewed and strengthened our security infrastructure and practices with data encryption, backups, logs, and security alerts.
  • We added opt-in and double opt-in options to data collection forms. 
  • We've made the process of deleting your account as easy as possible.
  • Unless opted-in, deleting your account automatically removes your data from our CRM and all corresponding systems. It will also anonymize analytics.
  • We've implemented all the internal procedures, processes, controls, and team training to keep up with our compliance.

As a user, what can you do to strengthen security during video calls?

If you are concerned about your privacy and want to avoid security gaps, consider following some of the tips below. They will help you and your team minimize the risk of potentially leaking confidential information.

1. As a rule of thumb, protecting your meeting and lobby with a secure password is a great step. You can even adopt different passwords for each video call. Nowadays, many programs can instantly generate secure passwords. 

2. Do you know your crowd? It can be challenging to monitor each user during large video conferences, making it easy for unauthorized parties to request participation and access a private meeting. To avoid this, make sure you have a designated individual in charge of granting access to your team and denying entry to users with suspicious accounts.

3. Before screen sharing, close any windows, tabs, and programs you might not need and—if possible—broadcast only the content itself rather than your entire desktop. 

4. Inform your participants in advance if you intend to record a video call. Your audience has the right to know and even decline if it makes them feel uneasy. You can keep your colleagues informed of privacy updates by adding the link to your company privacy policy to the meeting invitation. According to GDPR legislation, you should also give users the chance to access, rectify, or erase their recordings.

In conclusion, ensuring data protection is essential to any business—especially during post-pandemic times. Consider picking a communication tool based in the EU or EEA already subject to GDPR standards like Samba Live.

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