GDPR: How to anonymize a customer record in CustomerGauge via API

Modified on: Thu, 24 May, 2018 at 10:34 AM



This guide is aimed to help you walk through the steps to Anonymize a Customer Record in CustomerGauge via API. 



What does Anonymization mean?


When you anonymize a Customer Record in CustomerGauge - the personal data (example first name, last name etc.) and segment values identified by you will be anonymized (replaced either with *** or completely blanked out). Once Anonymized the information cannot be retrieved again. 




Does the CustomerGauge 'Anonymise' feature really Anonymise or just Pseudo-Anonymise?  


Great Question!  The short answer is that we truly anonymise the data.  But it is worth taking a moment to explain why we claim this and to address a specific caveat.

First some definitions.  So, a pseudo-anonymisation process means that one could theoretically imply or reconstruct the identity of a person using the data remaining in the system (or even a related system) after the anonymise operation has been performed.  For example, a badly designed anonymisation process might blank out all personal information about a person such as name, address, telephone etc, but leave some extra context information present.  e.g.
This person held a CEO job title at Company 'Acme'.
This person filled in a survey relating to PO Number '123456789'
The person filled in 9 surveys over a 34 month period relating to New England for first 6 surveys and then New York State for last three

So, to truly anonymise, the system also has to:
overwrite all relevant context information, not just personal data
needs to use standard strings e.g. '***' and not tokenized strings   (e.g. John Smith = 'J345fnht')
This is exactly how the CustomerGauge anonymisation process works and why we claim we fully anonymize.

But now for the caveat...

The CustomerGauge anonymisation process overwrites all known personal and context information.  But: it is our customers that decide how they will use certain user defined fields ('segments').  If segments are being used to hold context information that could be used to re-construct an identity they need to be flagged as 'personal data' so that the anonymisation process knows to bring them into scope. Please contact your CSM to add Segment Values to your default anonymization field list.




What details will be Anonymized by the API?


When you anonymize a record in CustomerGauge via API, please see below on what will happen to the information.


The Default List of fields:


Field List
Result after Anonymization
Email
will be converted to a random generated email address
First Name
***
Last name
***
SMS/Telephone Number
***
Follow-up Details
***
Customer Number
***
Job Level        
*
Job Position
--
NPS Comment
"This comment has been anonymised based on customer request"
Comment Translation
"This comment has been anonymised based on customer request"
Workflow Comment
"This comment has been anonymised based on customer request"
Direct Reply/Auto Reply
"This comment has been anonymised based on customer request" and the email link will no longer be available
Review Comment  
"This comment has been anonymised based on customer request"  on the reviews widget and website, also all comments made by an user on the reviews widget will be anonymised
Additional Comment 
"This comment has been anonymised based on customer request"




What happens to the Segment Value Information?


IMPORTANT: Please align with your Customer Success Manager (CSM) on the list of Segment Fields that you would like to have anonymized by default for all records. This is in addition to default list of fields mentioned above. This is a one time activity and will apply for all customers records that are anonymized using the Anonymize API after the setup. If you do not specify this with your CSM then these segment values will not be anonymized!


  • The Segment reference will be removed for that particular Customer record. It will appear that this record did not have a segment reference at all.
  • IMPORTANT: If you choose to anonymize company as an additional field, the new monetize widgets will not work precisely because the link between the person and the company will be lost.





What will happen to my Survey Results?


Some of Survey Result information of the record that you anonymized will remain accessible. 


Information that will not be anonymized are


Email Sent Date

Survey Completed Date

NPS Score

Drivers (Self-Select Reasons)
Follow-up Requested - Yes or No
Additional Rating Question
Drop Down, Radio Button, Check Box Questions
CSAT Question
CES Question



Information that will be anonymized are


Comment
Additional Comment
Review Comment
Follow-up Details
Input Boxes





What do I need to get started?


1. Alignment with your Customer Success Manager (CSM) on the list of Segment Fields that you would like to have anonymized by default for all records. By default there is a standard list of fields that we will anonymize but in addition to this you might want to anonymize certain segment field vales that might contain personal information. This is a one time activity and will apply for all customers records that are anonymized using the Anonymize API after the setup. If you do not specify this with your CSM then these segment values will not be anonymized!


2. Technical knowledge on how to call CustomerGauge APIs. (An easy to use In-App version will be released shortly.)


3. One of the unique identifiers for the person requesting to be removed from your data; their e-mail address or SMS telephone number.


4. Any other API interface tool that allows GET and POST API calls


5. Your CustomerGauge API key (Available in your CustomerGauge System)


6.  GET Anonymize API (To verify the information before Anonymization) and POST Anonymize API (to anonymise the customer record/records) documentation





The How to Guide:


Step 1: Verify the details of the customer before you anonymize the information. Do note that a Customer can have multiple CustomerGauge records under the same Email address or SMS number. 


a. Call the GET Anonymize API 

    a. Fill in the parameter email or telephone depending on the unique identifier you've picked (see requirement 2)

    b.Make sure to provide the api_key parameter in the Headers section, using "Authorization" as the key


Step 2: Check the result(s) of the GET Anonymize API and confirm that these are the records you'd expect


Step 3: If the results meet your expectations, call the POST Anonymize API with the unique identifier you just used on the GET API


Step 4: The details of this person should be anonymized in the platform. 









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