As a marketer, leveraging data is essential for comprehending your promotional initiatives and making pivotal business decisions. Call tracking, in particular, furnishes valuable insights, allowing you to discern the nature of calls generated by your marketing endeavors. Nevertheless, there is a concurrent responsibility to uphold user data privacy and adhere to data protection legislation. Failure to safeguard customer data not only jeopardizes trust but also tarnishes your company's brand image and may result in substantial fines. This guide will walk you through the process of collecting, utilizing, and protecting data following privacy regulations. By embracing your role as a data steward, you can harness call-tracking data to refine your marketing strategies.
Introduction to Call Tracking and Data Privacy
Call tracking helps in providing important information to marketers regarding the efficiency of marketing campaigns and how they are generated from internet sites and advertisements.
Before we get into the intricacies of data privacy, let's understand the essence of outbound call-tracking software. It is a secure system that allows marketers to track, analyze, and manage outbound calls. This tool provides an overview of customer interactions, call duration, conversion rates, and other metrics needed to evaluate campaign performance. That’s why it is very important to choose the best software for outbound call tracking.
Nevertheless, call tracking presents some obligations related to proper management and protection of customer information.
First, ensure transparency of your data collection methods. Clearly communicate to website users and advertisement viewers that you are tracking calls for analytics and marketing purposes. Provide an easy and accessible opt-out option for those who prefer not to participate in call tracking.
Secondly, restrict data collection to the essential minimum. Call tracking does not necessitate transcribing entire call transcripts or gathering sensitive information. Instead, focus on gathering limited data, including call duration, phone numbers, and incoming sources.
Subsequently, maintain strict security and confidentiality measures. Safeguard call-tracked data by storing it in encrypted form on servers with restricted access. Always prevent external access to your personal information. Dispose of outdated or unnecessary data following established data retention policies.
Finally, customers should be allowed to request to review their data. Make sure to provide interested parties with complete call logs, transcripts, and other essential data promptly and within permissible limits.
Implement responsible call tracking mechanism by adhering to the best practices of transparency, limited information gathering, security, and access. Keep abreast of local laws involving data use and protection. Be keen to build trust by the ethical use of personal data.
Essential Key Data Privacy Regulations
As a marketer, it is crucial to be well-versed in the fundamental data privacy laws that safeguard consumer information. Neglecting this responsibility may result in substantial fines and harm the reputation of both the organization and the company.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
What is GDPR? GDPR was enacted in 2018 and it provides data privacy protection to all persons in the EU. Ensure transparency, obtain consent, and establish a lawful basis for processing personal data. Marketers must clearly communicate the purpose of collecting data and seek permission to process customer information.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
As of January 2020, California residents were given the opportunity by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to understand the details of the personal information being collected about them. They also gained the right to request the deletion of their personal information and the ability to opt out of the sale of this information. Any commercial entity that collects personal data from California consumers and has an annual gross revenue exceeding $25 million falls under the jurisdiction of the CCPA.
Encrypting Call Data to Protect Customer Information
The data obtained through call tracking is regarded as the customer's personal and private information, and its privacy should be safeguarded through appropriate encryption measures. As a marketer utilizing call tracking, it is imperative to maintain the confidentiality of customers' details.
Encrypting Your Call Data
There are a few methods you can use to encrypt call data:
- TLS encryption ensures the safe travel of data from the call-tracking platform to other systems. Make sure to enable TLS encryption for all data transfers as well as any API integration.
- It is worth noting that at-rest encryption helps to secure stored call data on your call-tracking system. Ensure that the platform you pick uses strong encryption algorithms to encrypt call logs, recordings, and any other customer data when stored.
- Tokenization substitutes tokens for such information as phone numbers. Tokens are used instead of the original data that is encrypted, so the call analytics can be preserved but the privacy remains protected.
- Only authorized users should have access to call data. Provide user roles and permissions for your call tracking platform to only include administrators and users who require it.
- You should, therefore, look for a platform that either has features such as call masking or redacting. These will help you mask or replace some portion of a phone number while recording a call or when looking at log files, adding an extra security measure to your data.
- Your call-tracking platform will have inbuilt privacy policies and extensive security measures. Ensure you review their policies to confirm whether they align with legal provisions as well as your standard for data protection before selecting a platform.
Encrypt your call data and make sure very few people can get them while relying on call tracking to improve your campaigns. Any organization should be keen on protecting the data and ensuring trust. Regard data privacy standards as a component of the culture within your business and see it as an investment into the long-term commitment of your customers.
Securing Consent for Call Recording and Monitoring
To legally watch and save customers’ phone calls, you should always ask permission first. There are a few ways to secure consent for call tracking:
The first form of consent is written permission given by the customer to document and monitor calls.
This can be obtained in several ways:
- Ensure you put consent language from your call tracking terms and conditions, which clients have to agree upon before engaging your services. Have customers opt-in by checking a box, to indicate consent to the call recording and monitoring.
- Email new and existing customers that you use call tracking. Request them to agree that you can record and supervise the call for your consent. Document all informed consent emails you receive at that time.
- Display a notification on your website acknowledging the use of callback tracking and recording. Obtain guest consent by having them complete a consent form, and diligently keep track of all submitted consent forms.
In certain locations, there is a practice of posting a notice to inform consumers that calls may be recorded and monitored, implying their consent when initiating calls. However, relying on implied consent is ambiguous and not advisable. Whenever feasible, it is recommended to always seek explicit written consent from customers.
Customers have the right to withdraw their consent at any time. In such cases, it is essential to promptly stop recording and monitoring calls for the customer who revokes their consent. Failure to adhere to these standards may result in significant fines.
To allow customers to withdraw consent, provide an easy way for them to opt out of call recording, such as:
- A phone message option to talk to an agent regarding withdrawing consent
- Form to be filled and submitted as a request to opt out.
- To reply STOP to a text message.
- Information about withdrawing your consent is in the call recording notice.
Enforcing consent on the part of the customer and allowing them to opt out at any time is a sure guarantee that you are operating within legal and acceptable bounds concerning call tracking. Consent should be treated as a process, rather than a single affirmative action.
Provide updates to your customers and let them know that they can edit their preferences regarding call recordings whenever they want.
Anonymizing and Aggregating Data for Analysis
Marketers must therefore ensure they legally and ethically analyze call data by anonymizing or aggregating information so as not to violate their consumers’ privacy.
Anonymous data refers to information from which Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as names, addresses, and phone numbers has been removed, preventing the identification of any specific individual. This enables marketers to analyze call patterns and metrics without compromising users' privacy.
Some methods of anonymizing call data include:
- Blurring or deleting the information directly identifying (for example, name, phone).
- Replacing exact age with a narrow age range, or changing city for the wide region.
- Distortion – add "noise" (random data) to reduce the possibility of re-identification
- Applying the principles of k-anonymity, i-diversity, and t-closeness to aggregate and manipulate attributes, ensuring disjointness against record linkage attacks.
Another way of gaining insights while protecting privacy is through aggregating call data i.e. combining multiple records into summary statistics. To illustrate, call volumes, durations, and outcomes may be collected and grouped by location, campaign, and period.
Merging data obscures individual records, making re-identification nearly impossible. However, aggregation may diminish analytical value by restricting the examination of specific calls or call patterns. Striking a balance is crucial, where the majority of the data is analyzed, with some anonymized and aggregated, ensuring optimal insights while adhering to privacy restrictions.
By anonymizing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and consolidating records into metrics, marketers can ethically analyze call data to enhance marketing and customer experience strategies. Consistent evaluation of techniques and collaboration with legal counsel contribute to building consumer confidence in data usage practices. Striking the right balance between privacy protection and utility ensures that call-tracking insights can be valuable without compromising ethical considerations.
Limiting Employee Access to Sensitive Call Data
It is essential to restrict access to confidential customer details when acting as a marketer managing call data. Only those with authority should be allowed access to call records, playbacks, and customer information.
- Restrict Access to Call Data: Limit access to call data, and customer information only to the employees who do need it for their jobs. Access for others should be denied. With phone call tracking software, administrators can provide granular permissions that detail which employees have access to what call data. Give managers, call center heads, and core client managers permission on a need-only basis.
- Use Strong Passwords: Impose the use of robust complex passwords with a minimum of 8 characters comprising numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. Have users’ passwords changed every 60-90 days by requiring this. Providing employees with a password manager can be beneficial in generating and reminding complex passwords.
- Educate Employees: Train every employee on data privacy policies, data security guidelines, and how to safeguard customer data. Train employees on what a data breach is, how to recognize the possibility of one, and how to prevent it. Build a data-oriented corporate culture through continuous training programs and information campaigns.
- Restrict Physical Access: Restrict physical access to servers, computers, and all other call data-storing devices. These areas should only be accessible by people with keys or ID badges. All access is to be logged and monitored.
Any marketer dealing with such sensitive customer information ought to protect call data and customer privacy. Marketers should limit employee access, impose strict security measures, and promote data governance to protect the privacy and security of customer information.
As a marketer utilizing top-tier outbound call tracking software, it is your responsibility to safeguard your customers' private information. Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is crucial for building trust in your brand. Stay updated on new regulations and laws to ensure compliance with the evolving landscape. Given the increasing risks of data breaches and privacy concerns, prioritize the security of call tracking data. Stay vigilant, and with proper security measures in place, call tracking can offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns without compromising customer trust.
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