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Are Chatbots GDPR-Compliant & Which Options are Best?

Chatbots are a great addition to live chat support because they can quickly answer questions and solve customer issues in real-time. For marketers, they help boost engagement and reduce some of the dependency on your support team’s schedule. Are Chatbots GDPR Compliant?

Chatbots can generate qualified leads by identifying potential customers and automating certain support processes, thus reducing your costs. But while all of the above sounds great, it is crucial to remember that not all chatbots are GDPR-compliant. 

In this article, we explore chatbots that are privacy-focused and will not compromise your GDPR requirements.

What Makes a Chatbot GDPR Compliant?

Transparency

At the start of a conversation, the chatbot should provide the user with their terms and conditions - or the privacy policy link should be displayed. This provides the user with easy access to information about what data is being collected, who will have access to it, and how it will be used. 

Control 

The user should have access to any and all personal data that has been collected from them. The chatbot needs to provide users with the option to change, delete or download this information - on request and free of charge.

Some chat tools come with these actions already embedded in their user menu, but for others, you will need to manually add these actions yourself.

Security 

The chatbot should be able to demonstrate that it has taken calculated risks and is able to protect users against data breaches - at both the technical and organizational levels.

Hosting 

The chatbot’s hosting services can make a big difference when it comes to data security. Web servers usually keep different types of logs (access, error, audits); these will often contain personal data such as names and IP addresses - given this, user consent is mandatory under GDPR. 

Data Processing Agreement (DPA)

In order to keep things GDPR safe, a DPA should be signed between you, the data controller, and the chat app, which in this case is the data processor.

The DPA should be provided by the chatbot, but you can always request it by email if you can’t find it. 

This legal contract includes crucial information on what the chatbot is and isn’t allowed to do with user data, and acts as your safety net in the case of a security breach, for instance.

List of Recommended Chatbots:

Intercom

Subscriptions from $67/month
Read their GDPR compliance statement.

Intercom is more than a simple chatbot - this is just one of its main features.
With Intercom, you will have all your support emails, questions from live chat, and conversations from your social channels funneled into a single Intercom inbox - allowing you to manage everything in one place. 

Intercom offers a live messaging feature, which allows companies to directly call the user on their device. There is also a customer data platform that allows you to store all multichannel data in one place.

Their support pages are easy to understand and include podcasts, webinars, and other types of engaging content.

Intercom can be easily integrated with over 300 marketing and sales apps, including Salesforce, Hubspot and Slack - this makes it a great tool for both customer support and lead generation.

Zendesk 

Subscriptions from $49/month
Read their GDPR compliance statement.

Just like Intercom, Zendesk is also more than a simple chatbot. It is an advanced tool that can help you connect customer support with marketing and sales efforts. Its Sunshine feature also allows you to build complex interfaces that keep all your data connected and stored in one place.

The Zendesk Answer Bot feature uses artificial intelligence to answer the user’s questions and recognizes when it is time to bring in a human support agent.

This software also integrates with a great number of tools including Asana, Jira, and WordPress.

Userlike

Subscriptions from $102/month
Read their GDPR compliance statement.

Many of the tools on this list complement their automated chat function with a live chat feature and Userlike is no different. What we love about Userlike is that their website and documentation have been designed to be easily understandable - even for the technologically ungifted.

The two most striking features out of the multitude of options available are video call and user survey possibilities.

The Userlike chatbot is powered by AI and can communicate in a wide range of languages and across different channels.

Chatbot

Subscriptions from $42/month
Read their GDPR compliance statement.

Chatbot, besides having the best name ever, is also very user-friendly. 

You can use drag and drop elements to personalize your own messaging logic and can choose from a wide range of templates, replies, and actions, to create an engaging experience for users.

Alternatively, you can choose the AI option; this utilizes Natural Language Processing and machine learning algorithms to provide users with suitable answers.

Chatbot also comes with a free chat widget that can be fully tailored to fit the design of your website.

Botsify

Subscriptions from $49/month
Read their GDPR compliance statement

Botsify has a live chat feature and several chatbot options that make it compatible with your website, Telegram, Whatsapp, Messenger - it even offers an SMS chatbot. It can be used for both support and converting visitors into customers.

Despite being very user-friendly, the problem with Botsify and other social media bots like it is the risk that social media companies like Facebook/Meta could be collecting personal data through them. Given this, we recommend that you stick to Botsify’s website chatbot option.

Clickatell

The price depends on the number of messages you send.
Read their GDPR compliance statement

Clickatell is a customizable chat solution that targets large consumer brands and eCommerce websites. If you own an online store, Clickatell will help you enhance customer support, engage with website visitors and build loyalty.

The Clickatell chatbot called Interact comes with advanced features that allow you to create complex chat flows that deliver personalized responses for frequently asked questions. 

Some Final Things to Consider

Are Chatbots GDPR Compliant? We recommend you test out a few of these options, especially those that come with a free trial, before making a final decision.

Some of the chatbots presented above are more user-friendly than others and the complexity of features differs between them.

Given this, you’ll want to see which chatbot is most suited to your preferences, the size of your business, the sector you work in, and so on. 

As part of our grand plan to turn Visitor Analytics into the only website management tool that website owners actually need, we will be rolling out a chatbot feature in the near future. 

Just like the rest of our app, this chat feature will be 100% GDPR compliant and should be available to you by the end of 2022.