Data Compliance for Chatbots!

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Businesses and organizations worldwide spend a large amount of time scrutinizing their legal, IT, and data handling services on their efficacy to be data compliant. Data compliance in this tech-driven world is critical and any lapses in adhering to regulations cost companies their reputation and could lead to substantial fines. Conversational systems that collect data and AI automation require that businesses train their staff to manage and deal with data compliance laws in addition to the other services they offer. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) by the European Union in 2018 has imposed every organization in any part of the world that handles personal data to ensure data compliance. Even if businesses are not directly affected by the GDPR, many countries and states have their own data compliance laws that come into force with regards to AI technologies and the information they collect. 

The Personal Data Protection Act in India and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) set new data protection regulatory guidelines, ensuring data compliance in some parts of the world. 

California leads US efforts in data compliance regulations with its California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and aspects of the law are being used as the basis for creating laws in other US states.

Is data compliance necessary?

Yes and here’s why. 

If a customer signs up for a company newsletter, they have to give consent to the company to store their email address. If a customer interacts with a business chatbot, the personal information that the chatbot collects needs to be handled similarly. But, what happens if the legal team at your organization is not aware that the service chatbot stores sensitive personal information like social security numbers, bank account details, phone numbers, and addresses. 

What happens if the chatbot cannot identify hackers and ends up sharing company information? What happens if bad actors impersonate genuine customers and gain access to personal data? This is where things get tricky, and businesses need to ensure that customer data is safeguarded. 

In addition to this, businesses need to make these laws and rules explainable to all their employees. Data theft, malicious activity, or cybersecurity attacks that result in the loss of customer information or its misuse for malicious purposes can put them on the spot and lead to expensive legal repercussions.

The regulation laws are strict and businesses or organizations that collect information or personal data need to ensure that customers have given consent for the business to store it. Businesses are also required to provide to customers their data when asked and delete it on request. In other words, the customer has the ‘right to be forgotten’ i.e. delete their data. As customers become more and more aware of their data compliance rights, businesses are being flooded with requests to delete their data and follow the compliance laws. 


How to ensure Compliance?

Every employee, working remotely or in the office, needs to know the rules. Employees that handle customer data need to be aware of customer rights and must ensure requests from users about GPPR or CCPA or any other data compliance regulations are handled consistently. Automation systems using conversational systems can surely make this process easier. 

Organizations or businesses can employ chatbots to provide data compliance information to all the employees in a form of a Q&A. This will ensure consistency in adherence to regulations among teams and recruits. The rationale behind ‘personally identifying data’, ‘how the data must be handled’, ‘how to adhere to GDPR and CCPA rules’, and ‘what to do in case of an issue’ can all be explained in simple terms. Employees can be made aware of how their personal data is stored and used by the company. 

Chatbots can be used to explain privacy policies and obtain consent from the customers. AI-bot developers can enable separate personal information from anonymous information at the source and automate the ‘right to be forgotten’ feature. Investing in chatbot security solutions that flag unknown sources can be of great help to the business in safeguarding their user information. Applications and security solutions such as VA Shield constantly monitor interactions between the customer and company chatbot and can alert the company if the source code is modified or if data compliance rules are ignored. 


While businesses collect customer information intending to provide better services and efficient management, the protection of this data needs to be taken seriously. A few hacking incidents or social media scandals where bad actors access the data from business servers can create a tide of complaints and cost a fortune to the businesses. Having better security systems can surely protect your business and save the reputation and business of the company. Adherence to data compliance laws with user- data protection as the primary aspect, enables transparent and reasonable security measures for both the business and their customers.