We've been seeing more vendors, customers, and prospects asking about HIPAA compliant services. Since Paubox is a Business Associate to thousands of customers, we’ve been wondering if our customers are able to use Hotjar in a HIPAA compliant manner.
Here's what we'll be covering in this post:
- What is a Business Associate?
- Business Associate Agreement provisions
- Hotjar and the Business Associate Agreement
- Does Hotjar offer HIPAA Compliant Service?
We know the HIPAA industry is vast so we can empathize with just how many people need to use cloud services in this sector. Today, we will determine if Hotjar offers HIPAA compliant service or not.
Hotjar is a user feedback and behavior analytics tool that helps customers understand the behavior of their website users. It also collects user feedback through heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys.
What is a Business Associate?
A Business Associate is a person or company that performs certain functions or activities that involve the use or disclosure of protected health information for a Covered Entity. In a nutshell, the role of a Business Associate is to help Covered Entities comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule. If Hotjar is storing or transmitting protected health information (PHI) on behalf of a Covered Entity, they are definitely considered a Business Associate. Read full article: What does it mean to be a Business Associate?
Business Associate Agreement provisions
If a Business Associate provides services to a Covered Entity, then a Business Associate Agreement must be in place. A Business Associate Agreement is a written contract between a Covered Entity and a Business Associate and is required by law for HIPAA compliance. At a minimum, a Business Associate Agreement contains 10 provisions. Read full article: Business Associate Agreement Provisions
Hotjar and the Business Associate AgreementWe checked the Hotjar site for mention of their ability to sign a Business Associate Agreement. The only meaningful information we could find was on the Hotjar Terms of Service page. In Section 10.2, they state:
In other words, we took this language to mean that Hotjar is not willing to sign Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) with their customers.
Does Hotjar offer HIPAA Compliant Service?The Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is a key component to HIPAA compliance between a Covered Entity and a Business Associate. We were able to learn the following about Hotjar and their stance on HIPAA compliance:
- Hotjar offloads responsibility to the customer as far as definitions of PHI and HIPAA are concerned.
- They also make no mention of their ability to sign a BAA.
- In our opinion, these are red flags.
Conclusion: Hotjar makes no mention of their ability to sign a Business Associate Agreement. We therefore conclude they should not be used as a HIPAA compliant service.