What is the GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new European privacy regulation which will replace the current EU Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC). The GDPR aims to harmonize data privacy laws across the EU and strengthen the security and protection of the personal data of all EU residents. GDPR goes into effect on May 25th, 2018. Guidebook is committed to ensuring the highest forms of data protection for our customers and we have implemented new tools to assist users with managing their privacy.
In this article, we'll review:
- Why should you care about GDPR?
- As an end user, what information is shared?
- As an end user, how will my shared information be used?
- How do I control my privacy options?
- How can guide organizers encourage users to allow sharing?
- Which guidebook features are impacted by GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation sets a whole new bar for user privacy around the world. Despite all the hand-wringing and hedging you may read about around this regulation, the core concept is simple, clear, and admirable: companies must tell users how their data is used and give users a choice when it comes to those data uses. Guidebook believes that meeting the standards of compliance for the GDPR is important for every organization, no matter where, for a few reasons. First, extending these standards to each user articulates clearly that data privacy is being taken seriously. This, in turn, builds consumer trust. If that weren't enough, the penalties for noncompliance are steep, and extending strong privacy rights to all users is the only way to be ensure compliance in deployments. We never want any of our customers to run afoul of EU regulations. In order to guarantee that your events are always GDPR compliant, no matter who accesses them or where they are accessed from, we're making the following changes to our platform.
- A user must grant consent to share their information before their data can be processed in certain ways. This means that, until a consent decision is made, a user’s data will not be shared in a selection of our features.
- Users can easily control their privacy status in our new Privacy Center located within their account settings on the app, or online.
By consenting to share information, the following bits of information will be shared with the guide organizer:
- Your first and last name, email, avatar image, and any company information you’ve chosen to include in your Guidebook profile.
- The sessions you’ve added to your personalized schedule.
- The points of interest (speakers, vendors, etc.) you’ve added to your to-do list.
- Your general usage metrics (time in the guide, how many times you opened the guide, etc.)
This information is used to improve the product and help the guide organizers provide better experiences for end users.
If you choose not to share your information with the guide but you check-in to the Attendees feature of a guide, your profile details will be visible (first name, last name, company information, profile image). If you connect with other users, you will share any additional information you have entered in your Profile details (contact info, social media links, website).
If you choose not to share your information but sign-in to a Guidebook account when accessing the guide, the organizers will see your first and last name, email, avatar image, and any company information you’ve chosen to include in your Guidebook profile. Usage details will not be provided.
When end-users share data with the guide organizers, everyone wins. Here are a few of the ways shared data may be used:
To improve attendee experience: When guide organizers more thoroughly understand their attendee composition, they can provide more enriching sessions, more structured content, and can overall provide a more tailored experience for each and every attendee. By refusing consent to share data, guide organizers will not be able to cater as well to your needs.
To smooth event operations: By sharing your session preferences and attendance plans with the guide organizers, those organizers can procure larger rooms, adjust schedule timing to accommodate for more attendance, and ensure that each session you attend gives you the most comfortable and valuable setting.
To plan better future events: The more event organizers understand what was successful and what could be improved, the better off they will be planning future events that you may attend.
To improve marketing operations: No one wants to be sent marketing material that isn’t relevant to them. By consenting to share your data you may help event organizers minimize irrelevant marketing.
New features have been added to our apps which allow you to easily control which guides have access to your information. You can adjust your privacy options three ways.
An automatic prompt when first opening the guide
When a guide is first opened, a Privacy Options prompt will display asking if you’d like to allow sharing with the guide.
From within the Privacy Center located in users’ profile
To navigate to the Privacy Center on the app, follow these steps:
- Tap the profile icon in the top right corner to log in or create an account.
- Tap the gear icon to access your profile settings.
- Scroll to the bottom and open the Privacy Center where you can toggle on or off your sharing status for each guide.
The online Privacy Center
Navigate to https://builder.guidebook.com/gdpr-webview/ to control your sharing status outside of an app.
When users choose to share information with Guidebook, they provide a lot of valuable data about the guide’s use. This data can be used by event organizers in real-time as the event is ongoing or to evaluate post-event to determine areas of improvement for the next event. Guidebook’s new changes make it easy for users to grant consent or revoke consent to share this information. As an event organizer, you’ll want as many users to grant consent to share their data as possible. Here are some tips to encourage a high rate of sharing.
Notify users during guide promotion
When promoting your guide for download, let users know that they’ll be asked if they want to share their information and encourage them to consent to sharing. This provides valuable data to improve their experience. See As an end-user, how will my shared information be used?
Add a web view of the Privacy Center to the guide menu
Make it even easier for your users to navigate to the Privacy Center. Instead of navigating to their profile settings, you can add the Privacy Center as part of the guide’s menu. Just add a Web View module to your guide and direct it to https://builder.guidebook.com/gdpr-webview/ .
Send a push notification after onboarding
After users have downloaded the guide, send a push notification encouraging them to allow sharing.
User Engagement Reports: Users who have not allowed sharing will be anonymized in these reports.
Audience Insights Users Views: Audience Insights views of users who have not consented to sharing will not be viewable.
Users and Groups List Export: Users who have not consented to sharing their data will be anonymized in the Users and Groups user list export. The total number of created, invited, or logged in Users will be accurate, but if consent has not been granted, those users will be anonymized.
Exports using integrations: Users who have not consented to sharing their data will not be included in the data sent via integrations.
Session Attendance and Bouncer Tools: Users who have not consented to sharing their data will be anonymized in these reports. The total attendance will be correct, but any users who have not consented to sharing will have their names and emails removed.
Note: Branded Apps must be updated to include the new Privacy Center and Consent Prompt features. Without these, users can't consent to share their data in the app. In the meantime, you could add a Web View module that directs to the online Privacy Center .
How can I check to see if I am sharing information with any guides?
The default setting is ‘not sharing’. Navigate to the Privacy Center on your phone or computer, and you’ll be able to manage all of your guide sharing preferences in one place.
What if I only want to consent to sharing my information with one guide in the app?
No problem! Privacy is set on a guide-by-guide basis with the default being not sharing. If you decide to share information it will only be for that guide.
Does this apply to Branded Apps too?
Yes! Branded Apps are GDPR compliant like the Guidebook app. Branded App clients should resubmit their app so that it includes the new Privacy Center. Otherwise, users will not be able to consent to share information within the app. In the meantime, you could add a Web View module that directs to the online Privacy Center.
If I check-in to a guide (Attendees module), am I consenting to share my information?
Only basic information from your profile will be visible if provided (name, company info, avatar image). You can check-in without sharing your guide activity with organizers. Checking in will allow other attendees to see that you are at the event and allow them to send you a message or connect to see your full profile. Your profile details will be visible to others in the Attendees list. If you connect with other users, you will share any additional information you have entered in your Profile details (contact info, social media links, website).
For more details on Guidebook's commitment to GDPR, see the PDF here.