The requirements of the GDPR must also be taken into account in online meetings and virtual, interactive events. In this context, even larger tools such as Skype or Microsoft Teams do not always attract positive attention.

For this reason, it is not only important to know which tools for online meetings and events are GDPR-compliant, but also how to recognize them.

Why is data protection at all important for online events?
Video conferences, online meetings, virtual events, webinars, etc. offer a much larger attack surface than telephone calls or conference calls. It is much easier for third parties to surreptitiously listen in, for unauthorized recordings to be made, or for data privacy to be breached due to data protection violations or data mishaps on the part of the provider.

That's why it's important to consider GDPR compliance when choosing your tools for online meetings or events.

These types of tools are available

When researching suitable tools, you will quickly discover that there are different tools for each type of online event.

These include, for example, tools for:

  • Video conferencing
  • internal meetings
  • Webinars
  • virtual and/or interactive events

Often, the tools can also be used interdisciplinarily. The only important thing is that they are GDPR-compliant and support the selected meeting type.

What to look for when choosing the right GDPR-compliant tool

You should ask yourself several questions when you are looking for a suitable tool:

  • Is the provider trustworthy?
    Here, you should rely primarily on empirical values. Online reviews can help here.
  • Where is the provider located?
    If possible, you should give preference to providers located in the EU or the European Economic Area. They are obliged to implement the GDPR requirements.
  • On which servers does the video conferencing software run?
    In the best case, the application runs on your servers (keyword "on premise"/ "self hosted") and not on those of the provider. However, there are also providers who do the hosting and thus offer conferencing.
  • How easy is it to register?
    In order for the tool to be worthwhile for your participants, logging in should be uncomplicated. Nevertheless, security must be ensured, for example, by URLs that are not so easy to guess and can be password-encrypted.

If you are unsure whether your chosen tool really meets all the requirements, you can also consult a data protection expert.

These are the best GDPR compliant tools for online meetings and events

Depending on the type of event, a different tool must of course be used. Depending on the number of members, interactivity and type of online meeting, there are different requirements that a tool must meet in addition to GDPR compliance.

GDPR compliant tools for video conferencing and online meetings

Video conferencing tools are a dime a dozen. But not all of them are compliant with the GDPR. Time and again, we hear about data breaches, for example with the providers Skype or Microsoft Teams. This should never happen, especially with video conferences and similar meetings. It is therefore highly advisable to check the tools for compliance with the GDPR beforehand.

One provider that is DSGVO-compliant and suitable for video conferencing in the corporate sector is Linkando, for example. The following factors speak for this provider:

  • Face-to-face, hybrid and digital meetings possible
  • EInvitation management
  • Check-in with QR code
  • Simultaneous translations
  • Reporting & Compliance
  • Interactive agenda
  • Linkando Zoom App
  • Suitable for various meetings: General meetings, board meetings, shareholders meetings and many more.

With this example, you can compare other providers and find out whether they also meet the most important basic conditions for safe and smooth use.

Other GDPR-compliant tools that are worthwhile for video conferencing and online meetings and are based in Germany include:

  • ETES
  • alfaview
  • ecosero
  • FastViewer
  • IMS RealTime
  • Zoom X

Webinar tools

With a webinar, you can not only reach many people, but also create a productive learning environment. In order to hold the webinar, the user's personal data must be processed. For this reason, DSGVO compliance must also be ensured here.

Once again, providers from the EU are generally compliant with data protection regulations, while providers from the USA, for example, should be carefully checked beforehand.
There are three important things you should keep in mind when choosing the right provider:

  • A data processing agreement must be concluded with the provider of the webinar tool. This stipulates that the provider follows your instructions when processing the data, e.g. deletes certain customer data on instruction.
  • When making an appointment, the interested party must already be informed that his or her data will be processed. The notice must be clearly visible directly during data entry - either next to or above, not below. In this way, the customer is informed and the data can be processed in compliance with the GDPR.
  • Certain functions may only be used during the webinar if the customer has been informed about them. These are, for example: tracking of customer behavior (e.g. clicks at certain points), an observation of customer behavior (e.g. activity during participation) or a recording (e.g. by recording or screen sharing).

A webinar is a bit more complicated than a simple online meeting when it comes to data protection. For this reason, a suitable provider is important. DSGVO-compliant and equipped with the most important functions are, for example, the following tools:

  • edudip
  • Jitsi Meet
  • BigBlueButton
  • Mikogo
  • Teamviewer

Proper webinar software also provides an interactive experience that rivals live webinars through participant engagement.

Applications for virtual events/ trade fairs

Trade shows and events can also be held online. Especially in the last 2 years, the sector for online event tools has experienced a boom. So you can now choose the right one from many different providers. These include, for example, these German providers:

  • Streavent
  • Talque
  • mockup fair
  • AirLST
  • Streamboxy

Conclusion: Final tips on data protection for you and your participants

To ensure data protection at all levels apart from the tool, here are a few final tips. This will help you prevent unpleasant surprises and guarantee a pleasant meeting:

  • Each meeting is assigned a unique meeting ID. This should not appear on the Internet or social media.
  • You should always use individual meeting IDs. Even for multiple meetings with the same participants.
  • If possible, you should also use meeting passwords. This further protects the connection from third-party access.
  • Also, always keep an eye on your meeting participants. Especially if unfamiliar people show up, ask for their name and why they are attending.
  • If you want to record a video conference - whether as an audio track or as a video - you must first ask the participants for their consent so that they can leave the meeting if they refuse.
  • As a meeting operator, you should close all windows, tabs and tabs that are not needed. It's best to show only the content that is relevant to the participants. This way you protect your own data.
A tip: If you would like to help your participants decide whether to register for your meeting/webinar, a tool such as Weels can be helpful. You can use it to embed short videos of yourself on your website or landing page and pick up (potential) participants right where they are. 

This way, the subscriber can learn from you personally that you pay attention to the DSGVO compliance of the tools, which requirements they have to fulfill for use, etc. This not only directly improves customer loyalty, but in the best case also increases the conversion rate.

A video conference has many advantages. To make sure you can use them safely, you need to make sure you are compliant with the GDPR. If you do this, nothing will stand in the way of a secure and informative online meeting or event!