Compliance is an important matter for any organization. Yet it might be particularly tricky for businesses operating predominantly online. The consequences of non-compliance may also be dire and quick to follow.
- Did not specify the cookies’ purpose
- Had no details about the cookies’ properties
- Did not disclose how long the cookies will stay on a visitor’s browser
While the amount may be overshadowed by what other companies had to pay for GDPR noncompliance (some were fined millions of dollars), the case still serves as a reminder that adhering to data privacy regulations is a serious matter.
One way to ensure compliance with GDPR and other regulations is to capitalize on IP geolocation data. Here is how to do it.
IP Geolocation: What Is It Exactly?
IP location or geolocation provides details about a user’s location based on his/her device’s IP address. Among the data points that IP location tools offer are:
- Country, region, and city
- Latitude and longitude
- Postal code
- Time zone
- Internet service provider (ISP)
- Autonomous System (AS) details
- Connection type
- Associated domains
For more information about IP location, you may visit ip-geolocation.whoisxmlapi.com.
How Can IP Location Help with Regulatory Compliance?
Every country has its own data privacy laws, so GDPR is not the only regulation that global and international businesses have to contend with. For example, California has the Consumer Privacy Act that is quite similar to GDPR in protecting citizens’ personal data. All in all, roughly 130 countries have passed laws and regulations on protecting user privacy. GDPR already covers 27 countries, with each having its version of the strict privacy regulation.
With the growth of e-commerce, almost every online store is an international business. They have to comply with the regulations of the countries they sell their products and services to. How do they do that, especially when they cater to different territories?
IP geolocation can help. Businesses can screen the IP address of each website visitor to know his/her location. That way, they can present privacy disclosures that comply with visitors’ specific locations, ensuring that they do not violate privacy laws.
For example, when a visitor with the IP address 31[.]172[.]224[.]13 visits a Canada-based e-commerce website, IP location data would reveal that he/she is based in Lithuania, which is part of the European Union (EU). Hence, the visitor should see cookie and privacy policies that specifically adhere to the GDPR.
In the same way, businesses that don’t cater to EU countries can use IP geolocation data to redirect visitors to separate pages where their data is not collected. An example of this is Disney+. Since its services are not currently available in certain Asian countries, it redirects visitors with related Asian IP addresses to this page:
Although Disney+’s primary purpose for location-based redirection has to do with digital rights protection, the same logic can be applied to comply with data privacy laws.
Keep in mind that e-commerce companies are not the only ones that need to comply with data protection laws. On the GDPR Enhancement Tracker page, political figures, universities, police officers, and sports organizations were also cited for violating specific provisions and fined thousands of dollars. iGaming is another industry that can use IP geolocation for compliance—find more info here.
If you have a website and cater to an international audience, you need to comply with different countries’ regulations. IP location data can help. You can also integrate an IP geolocation database or API into compliance management solutions and data privacy management systems to make them more robust and accurate.