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GDPR Compliance in SaaS Companies: Everything You Need to Know

Many SaaS tech companies across Europe fail to understand the importance of the EU’s set of regulations concerning their citizens' personal data. This leads to a loss in revenue and possible fines.

In order to comply with current laws and regulations, win new clients, retain existing ones and simply avoid getting hefty fines, any SaaS company (just like any organization in general) needs to understand GDPR rules and what to do to become 100% compliant.


In this article we will find out:


  • What are the data regulations in Europe?

  • What is GDPR and why is it important? 

  • GDPR guiding principles

  • GDPR organizational and operational measures 

  • Steps to become GDPR compliant
  • And what do we do at Unique to be GDPR-compliant?


What are the data regulations in Europe?


What is GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on privacy and data protection in the European Union and the European Economic Area.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


Since 2018


Core elements:


  • Protection of personal data concerning citizens

  • Access to data that has been collected concerning citizens, and the right to have it rectified




  • Emails with privacy statements of companies to be confirmed

  • Cookies on websites to be accepted


Why is GDPR compliance important?



Aside from the fact that businesses must follow all applicable regulations at all times, companies that fail to become compliant with the GDPR risk huge fines up to €20 million or 4% of the organization’s global annual turnover, whichever is higher.


Data handling and processing are core activities for many SaaS companies, which means that compliance and trust are a must.


Maintaining GDPR compliance has numerous benefits; not only does it ensure regulatory compliance but ti also drives strategic business outcomes. 


Besides, for B2B SaaS businesses that handle sensitive client information, complying with EU regulations means gaining the trust of their existing clients, thus, acquiring new clients based on the credibility factor. 


GDPR Guiding Principles


There's a number of guiding principles that define rules for GDPR compliance:


  • Principle of lawfulness: personal data may only be processed lawfully and fairly (including law, contract, consent, and legitimate interest). 


  • Principle of purpose: Personal data must only be collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes and must not be further processed in a way that is incompatible with those purposes.


  • Principle of transparency: The collection of personal data and in particular the purpose of its processing must be identifiable to the data subject. The processor must actively provide information about the processing of personal data. Data subjects have a right to information.


  • Principle of data accuracy: Anyone who processes personal data must ensure that it is factually correct and up-to-date on an ongoing basis. 


  • Principle of data minimization and storage limitation: Processing must be appropriate and limited to the extent necessary for the processing purpose. The storage duration must be defined so that data is only kept as long as is necessary for the processing purpose (implementation of archiving and deletion processes).


  • Integrity and confidentiality: Personal data must be processed in a manner that ensures adequate security of the personal data (including protection against unauthorized or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage by means of appropriate technical and organizational measures). 


  • Accountability: The data processor is responsible for ensuring that the above principles are adhered to and must be able to demonstrate this accordingly. 


GDPR Organizational and Operational Measures 


So what are the actions and measures needed to be taken by the companies to ensure compliance with the GDPR regulations? Here’s the breakdown:


  • actions to implement the requirements must be organized and documented (e.g. preparation of data protection regulations and directives, training of employees); 


  • companies that process personal data are responsible for compliance with the processing principles (accountability) and must maintain a register of processing activities; 


  • data subjects must be informed of predetermined points before the processing of their data begins (in particular information by means of a Privacy Policy); 


  • personal data storage period must be determined in advance and data must be deleted when the purpose of the processing ceases to apply or the retention period has expired.


  • in the event of a data breach, the controller must inform the competent data protection authority without delay and no later than 72 hours after becoming aware of the breach if the breach poses a risk to the rights and freedoms of data subjects. If there is a high risk, the data subject must also be informed; 


  • a data protection impact assessment must be carried out prior to risky data processing; 


  • data subjects have various rights with regard to their personal data (e.g. right of access or deletion), which must normally be fulfilled within one month – this requires corresponding internal processes;  


  • written data processing agreements must be concluded with service providers that process personal data; before transferring personal data to countries outside Europe/EEA or Switzerland, it must be ensured that the country in question has an adequate level of protection. If this is not the case, appropriate measures must be taken (e.g. conclusion of data protection contracts).


7 Steps for SaaS companies to become GDPR compliant


There are several steps for SaaS companies to undertake in order to become fully GDPR-compliant. 


One of the factors that makes GDPR compliance complicated is the adoption of AI-based technologies. However, if you follow all the needed procedures, there are ways to ensure 100% compliance. 


Step 1: Define your clients’ rights under GDPR


Step 2: Implement an open-source database management system such as Microsoft Access or MySQL or set up automatic deletion of data once it is no longer needed. This will help with keeping&deleting data and complying with GDPR rules.


Step 3: Make sure your technical data is up-to-date and pay attention to cyber security.


Step 4: Train your employees. Annual compliance training is a must. 


Step 5: Add consent forms wherever needed. It means that you need to have a consent form on the website and potentially within your software whenever sensitive personal data is being processed. 


Step 6: Establish a clear internal communication line.


Step 7: Appoint a data protection officer who will be responsible for monitoring the security in your organization and taking measures whenever the security has been compromised. 




GDPR Compliance at Unique


Is Unique GDPR-compliant? As a European conversational intelligence market leader, we are committed to the highest data security and privacy Standards. 


Enterprise security standards


  • All data is stored on Microsoft Azure Cloud hosted in Switzerland.


  • Unique servers are located within Unique’s own private cloud, and we manage our APIs carefully to not allow any untrusted external connections.


  • Unique’s ISMS is managed by an ex-SAP team making sure the software is updated regularly with the latest security patches.


Compliance standards


  • Unique is committed to ensuring up-to-date compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 


  • Unique’s GDPR-compliant process flow guarantees consent from all meeting attendees.


  • Unique is on the way to being ISO 27001 certified by early 2023.


  • Unique engages with a third-party auditor (KPMG) to ensure the security of our platform and supporting infrastructure.


Data security


  • Any data and connections with Unique are secure using the latest encryption standards.


  • Data access and authorizations are managed on a need-to-know basis, and we apply the principle of least privilege.


  • Recordings, transcripts, and analytics are encrypted in transit and at rest.


Stay Unique and GDPR-compliant



Written by

Hanna Karbowski