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June 2018

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Boston has always fought for its place at the forefront of American innovation.

Boston was one of the first settled communities in America, established by Puritans in 1630 and expanded into a social, cultural and economic center by connecting the colonies of the Northeast.

In 1773 Bostonians destroyed shipments of British tea by dumping them into the sea in an act of rebellion. The “Boston Tea Party” marked the beginning of the American Revolution which eventually led to independence and the establishment of the United States.

Massachusetts was one of the first states to abolish slavery in 1780 and during the Civil War, Boston became a stronghold of abolitionist and anti-slavery thought and activism in the North.

After political revolutions came economic ones.

Boston grew throughout the 19th century and into the 20th with waves of immigration and industrial growth. The social and cultural elite of the moneyed class called the Boston Brahmins were eventually displaced by Irish Catholic immigrants, one of whom eventually ascended to the presidency – John F. Kennedy.

Despite a mid-century slump, Boston roared back to life in the 1970s and continued to expand – this time with increased investment in healthcare, technology, and education.

The city is home to 35 universities, colleges and community colleges including Harvard and MIT as well as some of the best hospitals in the country, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. As a result, Boston has become a hub for companies who are working on advancements in technology and life sciences.

Although so much of the last century’s history has been positive, even Boston’s recent past hasn’t been without tragedy.

In 2013 two bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds in an act of terrorism that left the nation reeling. The national response of caring and solidarity is embodied in the now-famous #BostonStrong.

Despite the challenges that it has faced, Boston not only continues moving forward, it continues to lead. This is especially true when it comes to technology.

Although the tech industry in Boston accounted for only 5% of national investment from 2010 to 2015, venture capital interest and investment in Boston increased significantly in that time.

From 2010 to 2015 the Boston tech industry grew by more than 9% annually, vastly outpacing the city’s 2.2% growth across industries.

Boston technology companies are particularly competitive in artificial intelligence, digital healthcare, fintech, edtech and internet of things. The rise of mobile and SaaS based businesses have been instrumental in driving growth across these sectors.

Major tech IPOs have come out of Boston in recent years, including Hubspot, Care.com, Tripadvisor, and Wayfair.

Tech companies are attracted by Boston’s high quality of living, exceptional talent pool fed by prestigious universities and colleges, low crime and low unemployment as well as a supportive local ecosystem for startups.

Boston is home to established tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon as well as a diverse set of small and medium sized companies. In May, Amazon announced plans to add 2000 new jobs to its center in Boston.

Expert Market ranks Boston as #8 out of the 10 best tech hubs in the world in 2018 – beating out London, Paris and New York.

It is a city with a proud history of innovation and with a steady stream of new investment in a growing and competitive technology industry, it is continuing to lead the way.

All of these things, the Culture, Passion and Tech boom are why we have choosen to open our offices in Boston. We are proud to be the #1 Rated Boston SEO Company as well as the #1 Rated Boston Social Media & Digital Agency. We will continue to make you proud Boston!

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GDPR Compliance

GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulations came into effect in the EU on May 25, 2018.

This means that if you do any business with or collect any data from people residing in Europe, you need to maintain specific standards regarding data collection, storage, and protection.

If your policies aren’t in compliance the penalties are steep.

The maximum fine is €20 million or 4% of global turnover.

GDPR is a complex topic because regulations vary across industries and the requirements for each business are different.

Here are some of the most important GDPR questions you need to answer.

GDPR

1. Have You Appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO)?

General Data Protection Regulations state that each business should have a designated individual who is responsible for compliance.

For an enterprise corporation, DPO may be a full-time job.

For a small or medium sized business GDPR compliance is likely an added responsibility for an existing staff member.

Only certain kinds of businesses are technically required to appoint a DPO, but putting a single person in charge of overseeing job this complex makes sense for any company.

Appointing a compliance officer will make updating systems for GDPR compliance a much smoother process.

2. Do You Know What You’re Doing with Your Customers’ Data?

If you haven’t already, you will need to map out exactly what kinds of data your company collects from customers and prospects online and how that data is stored and managed.

If you’re not tracking the data you collect, how can you ensure you are GDPR compliant?

Review existing data collection procedures with a comprehensive audit so that you know you what you’re dealing with.

3. How Will You Comply with Data Requests?

Under GDPR, customers have have new rights regarding the data that you collect from them.

This includes the right to access their data or have it transmitted to a third party and the right to have it erased completely.

GDPR also includes new timelines for complying with these requests. Your business must be ready to respond to some types of request within 30 days.

You will need to develop a process for receiving, processing and responding to these requests.

4. Are Your Terms and Conditions Written in Language People Understand?

GDPR includes new prohibitions on ‘legalese’.

If the average reader can’t understand what they’re signing up for what they agree to your terms and conditions, you are opening yourself up for a problem.

It looks shady when you use vague or overly legalistic phrasing in terms and conditions because it suggests that your company doesn’t really want customers to understand what they’re agreeing to.

Go through your terms and conditions to ensure that they plainly state in clear terms how your company collects and uses data.

5. Are You in Compliance with Age of Consent Regulations in Each Country?

You must be granted parental consent to collect data from a minor who is too young to legally consent to data collection.

This age varies by country in Europe.

While a 13-year-old in Spain can consent to share data with you, parental consent is required to collect data from anyone younger than 16 in the Netherlands.

GDPR compliance isn’t just about following a single set of rules that applies to all of Europe.

It also means complying with many different local data regulations.

6. Do You Have a Plan in Case of a Breach?

Every company hopes to avoid a loss of protected information but unfortunately this isn’t always possible.

GDPR requires any company that undergoes a security breach of user data to report this within 72 hours.

You need to plan for the worst.

If a breach does occur you need to be able to accurately report on the data that was lost and alert data subjects and controllers who were impacted.

The Benefits of GDPR Compliance

Every business will have to examine their own processes to ensure that they are GDPR compliant.

The fixes and updates will be different for everyone.

The good news is that these updates are generally really positive.

Unless your business model relies on spamming people or selling their data you will only benefit from increased transparency and accountability to customers.

GDPR will ultimately improve the quality of your email list, bring you up to the industry standard in data protection and help you act ethically and professionally online.

 

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