Who doesn't love a great offer? And when launching your website a deal of $20, $30 or $40 a year for hosting seems too good of an offer to pass by!
Too good to be true? When it comes to Canadian privacy laws, absolutely. Even more importantly it will affect you in other ways, but we'll cover that in a future article.
You may be unaware but if you are a Canadian organization you are mandated to ensure certain protections when it comes to the data you keep.
D-a-t-a? Like the stuff my cell phone uses. No, there is data and there is data. Your cellphone data usage is a measure of how much you use not what you are storing. You know when you use your mobile to bing on TikTok videos - you are using data.
We will focus on data as it relates to what you keep within your organization. Data which you would store within your database or CRM. Member or customer data -stuff like their name, address, etc.
Unknown to most, this data needs to comply with Canadian privacy laws. In addition, unknown to most, when they sign up with a discount hosting service the physical location of those servers is within the US. This is a pretty big issue, as going back almost 20 years the Patriot Act enabled the US government to have the power to pull any data from any server at any time. And here is where violation of our privacy laws happen.
Help yourself meet compliance through either one of these methods.
One, store all your data (member + customer + website) on servers physically located in Canada. This is the simplest and cleanest route.
If that doesn't work for you, split up your storage. Store your website data (your CMS data) anywhere you like, but store your member and customer data on Canadian based servers. It's not ideal, but depending on your current situation it may have to do.
As with anything in this world, if it's too good to be true - it probably is. While you may save a few bucks on going with a discount hosting service it could create serious situations down the road.
In my opinion, the savings are not enough to justify being in violation of privacy laws.
Need proof? We run our own database cloud within Canada - the costs are a little more than a discount service and for ensuring privacy compliance and MUCH better uptime, it's totally worth it. In fact our entire cloud structure is available to you for free (see image) - use it as you like!
If you need help with your hosting situation shoot me off an email and I'll connect you with our server admin who can set you up with Linode to ensure your organization is complying with Canadian privacy laws when it comes to your data.