by Hoala Greevy Founder CEO of Paubox
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Can I use Salesforce Marketing Cloud and be HIPAA Compliant?

by Hoala Greevy Founder CEO of Paubox

Can I use Salesforce Marketing Cloud and be HIPAA Compliant? - Paubox


Table of Contents:


A customer recently asked us about whether they were able to use Salesforce Marketing Cloud in a HIPAA compliant manner.

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 Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers HIPAA compliant service or not.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud a provider of digital marketing automation and analytics software. It was founded in 2000 under the name ExactTarget.

The company filed for an IPO in 2007, but withdrew its filing two years later and raised $145 million in funding instead. Before it was acquired by Salesforce in 2013, it acquired CoTweet, Pardot, iGoDigital, and Keymail Marketing.

ExactTarget was renamed to Salesforce Marketing Cloud in 2014 after the acquisition.

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.

In the case of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, it would certainly qualify as a Business Associate if it provides services to Covered Entities.

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

Salesforce and the Business Associate Agreement

We checked the Salesforce site for mention of a Business Associate Agreement for their Marketing Cloud solution.

We found the answer we were looking for on the Salesforce HIPAA Compliance page.

We see that Marketing Cloud, along with the following Salesforce solutions, are HIPAA compliant:

HIPAA Compliant Email and Salesforce

Covered Entities are required to take reasonable steps to protect PHI sent from email all the way to the recipient’s inbox. As such, HIPAA compliant email must be transmitted in-motion over the internet with encryption.

It should be noted however, the scope of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Business Associate Agreement protects and encrypts data only at-rest. In other words, any email sent from their Marketing Cloud is not covered by the Salesforce BAA.

Read full article: HIPAA Compliant Email

Does Salesforce Marketing Cloud 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 that a BAA is offered by Salesforce for Marketing Cloud.

If you are going to send email via Marketing Cloud that contains PHI however, the Salesforce BAA does not include coverage for that. You must either find a HIPAA compliant email API provider that integrates with Salesforce Marketing Cloud or not include PHI in the emails.

Not sure what to do next? Try Paubox for FREE and make your email HIPAA compliant today.