General Data Protection Regulation
What Is the GDPR?
GDPR is short for the General Data Protection Regulation that went into effect on May 25th, 2018. The European Parliament passed it to create a harmonized data privacy law across member states of the European Union (EU). Its purpose is to support privacy as a fundamental human right and give EU residents rights over how their data is processed or otherwise used.
What Is Personal Data?
The GDPR defines personal data as ... any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (data subject); an identifiable natural person can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, or online id or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.
Additionally, the GDPR notes that online identifiers can constitute personal data. The GDPR explains, ... natural persons may be identified with online identifiers which are provided by:
- Protocols, such as IP (Internet Protocol) addresses
- Cookie identifiers (and similar web tracking technologies)
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags (the Internet of Things)
How Does This Affect Me?
Individuals, companies, or businesses providing services to EU residents need to comply with this law. To the extent you collect EU residents' personal data (including the collection, processing, storage, or transmittal of such data), GDPR requires you to comply with its terms as of May 25th, 2018. If you are an EU resident, this law will apply to your data in your HostGator account.
What Rights Does the GDPR Provide to EU Residents?
The rights of an EU resident under the GDPR and how you can exercise those rights concerning HostGator are:
- Right of access: You, or your customer, can ask us what personal data is processed (used), why, and where.
- Right to be forgotten: If you, or your customer, need to cancel your HostGator account at any time, we will permanently remove your account and all information associated with it.
- Right to restrict processing: If you, or your customer, believe your data is inaccurate or collected unlawfully, you may request limited use of your data.
- Right of portability: We provide you with the ability to move any of your account data to a third party at any time.
- Right to object: If you, or your customer, decide that you no longer wish to include your data in our analytics or provide personalized (targeted) marketing content at any time, you may contact us to request removal of this data.
HostGator will provide the necessary mechanism to comply with your requests and support you in fulfilling GDPR requests from your customers.
What Is HostGator Doing to Comply with the GDPR?
HostGator has been compliant with GDPR since May 25th, 2018, which includes work behind the scenes, such as reviewing and updating (as necessary) our agreements, policies, internal processes, features, and templates to assure our compliance.
What Do I Need to Do Differently to Be Compliant with the GDPR?
Two parties have accountability for dealing with personal data, the controller and the processor. The controller defines the means and purpose of the use of personal data, and the processor only acts on behalf of what the controller has instructed and processes personal data for them.
Please understand that both you and HostGator have obligations and requirements for GDPR compliance.
As an EU Consumer of HostGator Services?
Usually, HostGator is a controller concerning the personal data that you provide to us as a customer. Also, from May 25th, we will not publish the personal data of domain name registrants located in the EU in the WHOIS. We do this to ensure our WHOIS output is compliant with the GDPR.
However, access to personal data of domain name registrants is granted when such access is necessary for technical reasons such as facilitation of transfers or law enforcement when it is legally entitled to such access.
As a Business Owner That May Have EU Customer Data?
In certain circumstances, you act as the controller, for example, when you decide what information from your contacts or subscribers is uploaded or transferred into your HostGator account, which means you will have some additional obligations around such things subject data rights. We urge you to understand this and seek legal advice where you think necessary.
Our Terms of Service requires you to obtain and process all personal data appropriately lawfully. You will need to continue to do this to be compliant with the GDPR.
What If I Have Additional Questions?
If you, or your customers, have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: