Demystifying SMS Carrier Regulations: GDPR, CCPA, TCPA
Text messages have become the quickest and convenient communication medium for business interactions. SMS helps to improve the engagement rate by offering a most familiar chatting platform to potential customers, which helps increase returns further. But, if not used prudently, it may also cause organizations to pay costly fines due to non-compliance with the rules and regulations defined for SMS by the GDPR, CCPA, or TCPA. Thus, one should be well-acquainted with the SMS compliance mechanism for effective texting.
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation of European Law that intends to protect the data and privacy of users who belong to the European Union by enforcing obligations. Laws of GDPR apply to those institutions also that do not belong to the EU.
If your business has a customer base outside of the UK, then you must be compliant with GDPR while using SMS for business communication.
- Do not text without the prospect’s and customer’s consent.
- Always try to get voluntary consent specifying the explicit purpose of collecting data.
- Always provide an easy opt-out option to prospects and ensure that they can opt-out anytime without any hassle.
- Keep users informed about how their data will be used, who will use it, and for what purpose.
- Keep customer data updated to maintain accuracy and use correct information while texting.
- Do not store customer data when no longer required
- Always notify your customers whenever you make any policy changes.
What is CCPA?
CCPA is a California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that applies to an organization doing business in California or collects the customer’s personal data. Also, this law applies if an organization-
-Is generating at least $25 million in revenue annually.
-Possess the personal data of at least 50,000 people.
-Earns more than 50 % of their revenue from the sale of personal data.
- Firms should inform their customers about what kind of personal information would be collected and for what purpose. Even for any additional information, firstly, customers need to be informed.
- Provide an easy way to customers like a toll-free telephone number so that they can request data access.
- Do not request opt-in at least for 12 months once a California resident has opted out of your texting program.
- If any new customer information is required, update official privacy policies adding California residents’ rights description.
What is TCPA?
TCPA stands for Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which restricts telemarketing calls, automatic telephone dialing systems, and voice and text messages for marketing without consent.
- Do not send SMS without prior express written consent from prospects and customers, even if you have their contact numbers.
- Clearly outline your services and purpose of seeking the customer’s consent.
- Send text messages between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., depending on the time zone of your recipient.
- Organizations need to retain communication records for business made through text messaging applications.
- Provide prospects and customers with an easy opt-out option.
- Maintain each contact’s consent records for at least four years from that date of consent.
Text messages are competent enough to return you more than what you’ve invested, but only if you stay compliant with GDPR, CCPA, and TCPA texting regulatory bodies. So, being compliant not only can you maximize your returns but also save yourself from paying heavy fines and future disputes that arise due to violation of SMS rules and regulations.
To know more about how the 360 SMS app helps to stay compliant while texting, contact our compliance experts here.