IP Geolocation: How Can It Help Meet Compliance Requirements?
Even though globalization has made the world borderless, each country or region still has specific laws and regulations that businesses must comply with. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines. Or worse, companies may even face the possibility of closure.
While it’s best to obtain legal advice on addressing specific regulatory compliance requirements, employing IP address location can help make things easier. Let’s take a closer look with a couple of examples.
iGaming is a flourishing billion-dollar industry but it is riddled with complications in terms of regulations. Utah, for instance, completely bans any form of gambling and lottery. On the other hand, other states where iGaming is legal may have different regulations. Companies operating in this industry should consider these limitations. They must make sure that they comply with state laws and any local rules that apply. How can this be done?
Companies in the iGaming industry can validate the location of every player before completing any transaction. In fact, you may use IP geolocation products to find the exact IP address location almost instantly. Here’s an illustration:
- A person downloads an iGaming application on his/her smartphone and creates an account or submits a bet.
- With the help of an IP geolocation source, the app automatically detects the player’s IP address. For demonstration purposes, let’s say that the IP address is 142[.]4[.]24[.]117. Furthermore, IP address location tells the system that this is a Utah-based IP address.
- The IP geolocation data is then run against the legal database to see if the player’s location is restricted or not.
- Since the IP address is from Utah, the transaction is declined.
Several iGaming companies make use of geofencing to ensure that they don’t violate state laws. PointsBet, for example, only allows people who are physically located in six states to play. It has a “Test My Position” feature to tell users if they are allowed to play. The site even automatically denies access to users from some countries.
User Privacy Regulation Compliance
While the previous section focused on a specific industry, user privacy regulations cover all sectors. Every company must comply with its host country’s data privacy laws regardless of its nature of business. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union (EU) is one perfect example. Websites that cater to EU countries must ensure that they comply with GDPR. Otherwise, they could be liable to pay a hefty fine.
The California Consumer Privacy Act is similar to GDPR. In essence, these regulations aim to protect the consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII). They detail what type of data businesses can collect from consumers and limit what companies can do with it. Most importantly, the consumers must give explicit consent to the organizations collecting their data.
As such, businesses have to validate every website visitor’s location to ensure that they do not violate the privacy laws of the user’s and their host country or state. They can use IP geolocation data to modify their web content based on user location. So when a visitor’s IP address is 5[.]44[.]216[.]0, an IP geolocation tool would reveal that the user is in Latvia, an EU country. The vendor can then present the version of its website specifically for users from the EU. That way, it doesn’t entirely change the web experience of other users while complying with GDPR.
Complying with the laws and regulations of the state or country where you operate is crucial to keep your business afloat. It certainly is not easy to do, and you need all the help that you can get. IP address location can help you avoid regulation-related fines mainly by ensuring that you provide the right content to the right users.