The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets a new standard for how companies use and protect EU citizens’ data. It will take effect from May 2018.

At Intercom, we worked hard to prepare for GDPR, to ensure that we fulfil its obligations and maintain our transparency about customer messaging and how we use data. We've now completed our GDPR readiness program.

As Intercom’s first dedicated compliance hire, I worked with our teams and lawyers to figure out how to convert GDPR legal provisions into tangible actions. 

Here’s an overview of GDPR, and how we prepared for it at Intercom:

What’s GDPR?   

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) is a comprehensive data protection law that came into effect on May 25, 2018. It replaced existing EU Data Protection law to strengthen the protection of “personal data” and the rights of the individual. It's a single set of rules which governs the processing and monitoring of EU data.

Does it affect me? 

Yes, most likely. If you hold or process the data of an any person in the EU, the GDPR will apply to you, whether you’re based in the EU or not. 

How Intercom prepared for GDPR

Our teams worked hard to ensure we complied with GDPR. This was a massive overhaul of processes and data models to make sure we met our legal obligations, and did the best thing for our customers while still letting us move fast, scale and build great products. 

Here are the main things we did to ensure we set up ourselves and our customers to meet GDPR obligations:

We built new features 

Our teams built the necessary features to enable our customers to easily meet their GDPR obligations.  

Intercom can help you meet your data portability requirements for GDPR, you can easily export all of your data or granular subsets linked to an individual and permanently delete all data linked to an individual user. 

We also automatically expire visitor data that has not been seen in 9 months, to ensure we comply with GDPR.

We updated our Data Processing Agreements (DPAs): 

Strong data protection commitments are a key part of GDPR’s requirements. Our updated data processing agreement shares our privacy commitments and sets out the terms for Intercom and our customers to meet GDPR requirements. This is available for customers to sign upon request. 

We certified for International Data Transfers: 

The EU-US Privacy Shield is a framework negotiated and agreed by the European Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce as a lawful way of transferring personal data. 

To comply with EU data protection laws around international data transfer, we self-certified under the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. 

We appointed a Data Protection Officer 

We’ve a dedicated Data Protection Officer to oversee and advise on our data management. Get in touch through the messenger or by emailing compliance@intercom.com

We coordinated with our vendors

We’re reviewing all our vendors, finding out about their GDPR plans and arranging similar GDPR-ready data processing agreements with them. 

We took new security measures

Security is a priority for us. We have regular external audits, pentests and bug bounties. We’ve built a robust security framework over the past couple of years, achieving International Compliance standards (SOC2, CSA and Privacy Shield) and reviewing our internal access design to ensure the right people have access to the right level of customer data. More details are available on our Security page. 

We’ll keep sharing information on our progress, and we’ll also help our customers and prospective customers be compliant. Some steps you can take are: 

  • Get familiar with the GDPR requirements and how they affect your company. 
  • Map out everywhere you process data and carry out a gap analysis.
  • Consider how you can leverage Intercom to help with your GDPR compliance. Our audit reports, pen tests and security docs are available to customers on request. 
  • Look at your product roadmap, think about privacy when you’re planning. 
  • Chat to your lawyer about what your company needs to do to.
  • Keep an eye on the developing guidelines from the GDPR Article 29 Working Party.

Questions?

Feel free to reach out to us in the Messenger if you have any questions about GDPR - we’d be happy to chat to you about it.

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