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DataStealth Blog

Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Data Residency Concerns

By Lindsay Kleuskens • July 26, 2021

In the past decade, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has become one of the most recognizable names in Customer Relationship Management and digital marketing automation. Paired with their strong analytics software, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a powerful tool that is trusted by thousands of organizations to help manage their digital marketing. However, not all organizations can purchase and make use of this dynamic platform.

Particularly for Canadian enterprises, the concerns raised by organizations operating within the United States often outweigh the benefits when it comes to data residency. Although Salesforce has the infrastructure in Canada, Salesforce Marketing Cloud databases are only located in the USA. This requires information to be stored outside of Canada to run marketing campaigns and becomes a major issue for organizations under strict laws about where sensitive consumer information can be stored or accessed.

In Canada, some provinces, industries, and organizations have strict regulations and contractual obligations about where data can be seen. These borders may be federal, provincial, or more specific depending on the organization. Regardless of how they are defined, these borders create a barrier for organizations who want to use the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform but cannot allow data to be seen in the USA.

Additionally, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA – a Canadian federal law) also creates a barrier between Canadians and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. PIPEDA outlines how organizations must use, collect and disclose the personal information of their consumers. While this act doesn’t explicitly restrict organizations from storing data outside of Canada, it does hold businesses responsible for how data is collected, processed, or transmitted. This can put an organization at risk if its consumer's data is stored in a country with different or more lenient data security regulations.

With all of these barriers in place, using Salesforce Marketing Cloud becomes a complex issue for non-American organizations hoping to use the platform. DataStealth provides a solution.

The Solution:

DataStealth is a revolutionary cybersecurity solution that addresses the concerns of data residency. By enacting a customizable data protection policy and transforming sensitive information before it leaves an organization’s IT environment, DataStealth eliminates the risk of storing data outside of one’s borders by eliminating the need to use real data itself. With DataStealth in place, non-American organizations can confidently use Salesforce Marketing Cloud without transmitting real data and while complying with their data residency obligations.

How does it work?

When using Salesforce Marketing Cloud, many features require organizations to disclose consumer’s personally identifiable information to function properly (ie. email campaigns would require consumers’ email addresses and first and last names). When providing this information, DataStealth sits in the line of traffic between the organization and Salesforce Marketing Cloud and analyzes what information is being sent. DataStealth then tokenizes any sensitive information before it leaves the border. The tokenized data looks, acts, and feels like real data, and is used seamlessly by Salesforce Marketing Cloud to execute campaigns. When emails are sent to consumers, the data hits DataStealth upon re-entering the border, and the tokenized data is transformed back into its original form. It is then sent to the consumer’s inbox, in the proper format and with the correct information in place. This process is transparent to both users and consumers and has no impact on Salesforce Marketing Cloud's features or functionality.

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By using DataStealth, no real data ever leaves an organization’s set borders. The tokenization
method allows organizations to use all of Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s features without
interrupting the application and without providing any real information. DataStealth allows non-
American organizations to use and benefit from Salesforce Marketing Cloud while remaining
compliant to data residency regulations.