Open-source solutions are often viewed as an effective way to upgrade existing tools with additional capabilities. You just add the necessary feature, and everything is done. No extra charges or lengthy development cycle straining your resources.
But now about the pitfalls of open-source address validation and address autocomplete services.
Although such solutions may seem a great option, it’s a shortcut that doesn’t work for long-term projects. The thing is that sufficient address verification and address autocomplete services cannot be open-source. This would compromise personal information security since anyone would be able to access private records on the web. The risk of data breaches would also be huge. Not to mention compliance issues.
Besides, open-source address validation and address autocomplete services have poor connectivity. After the data is validated, you won’t be able to share it with other services automatically. This harms marketing, slows down your business operations, and prevents you from creating a single customer view.
To learn more about the possibilities and limitations of open-source address validation and address autocomplete services, read about:
- What are open-source address validation and address autocomplete services?
- Compliance and security issues with open-source address validation and address autocomplete services
- Integration of open-source address validation services for a single customer view
- Inkit’s Reach Enablement Platform for data validation and a single customer view
What Are Open-source Address Validation and Address Autocomplete Services?
Open-source address validation is the use of open-source code for building an in-house product that enables you to check data quality and accuracy. Similarly, an open-source address autocomplete service uses software to add an autocomplete functionality into web products and improve the customer onboarding experience. The availability of ready-made code helps software developers avoid unnecessary coding and speed up new features and products.
Open-source address validation and address autocomplete services can be integrated separately or used simultaneously depending on your needs. As a rule, software providers combine them to achieve maximum address verification automation.
For more detailed information on what is open-source address validation, read this post.
Compliance and Security Issues with Open-Source Address Validation and Address Autocomplete Services
Anyone who collects, processes, and stores individual customer information should take care of security. Numerous local and international regulations guide you on how to do this and set out rules you need to follow. If you fail to do so, the penalties are severe and may reach millions of dollars. Besides, data security issues always hit hard on business profitability and reputation.
So what about open-source address validation and address autocomplete services in terms of regulatory compliance? Well, the news isn’t good.
Open-source solutions cannot provide a decent level of security and generally aren’t recommended for verification services. An address data warehouse is an authoritative database managed by the United States Postal Service and is well protected. The USPS just won’t let occasional people access its databases. You can either use one of the USPS-powered free tools for manual address verification or invest in a more advanced subscription-based solution.
Data-Related Regulations and Standards to Consider for Compliance
In case you want to make sure you validate data sources by the rules, below are the principal regulations to note. They should help you choose the right address validation and autocomplete services for your company.
CASS Mail Certification
The Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) is a certification launched by the United States Postal Service to determine what third-party address validation tools meet the USPS quality standards. If the tool follows the requirements, it is CASS-certified and listed on the official USPS website as a reliable option. To obtain this certification, the software must support delivery point validation and the Locatable Address Conversion System. Hence, looking for an address validation solution or developing your own, don’t forget to become CASS certified.
California Consumer Privacy Act
General Data Protection Regulation
The GDPR regulation is something everyone has heard of. Even if you are based in the US, chances are you will need to meet it in case you operate globally. GDPR provides guidelines on how to process EU and EEA residents’ data, and what data-related rights they have. In particular, you will need to inform customers about the purpose of data collection and get their consent. Any address validation or address autocomplete service you will use must be GDPR compliant, which is rarely the case with open-source solutions.
Apart from the listed acts, there are some other regulations you need to keep in mind, including the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) that may be applicable depending on your industry.
Integration of Open-Source Address Validation Services for a Single Customer View
Data validation is an essential step on your way to achieving a unified customer view. Single customer view enables you to consolidate all information about leads within one system to see what records are missing, enrich customer data, and optimize your business processes. This allows you to run personalized multi-channel marketing campaigns and better communicate with customers during their customer journey. Most importantly, unified views prepare your systems for further automation and upgrades since all data is well-ordered, standardized, and validated.
That’s why if you collect address information, it must be cleaned. Order your address data sets, just like email addresses, social media data, demographic characteristics, etc. for a single customer view.
To do this, you will need to connect an address validation and address autocomplete services with a customer data platform. Hence, make sure to find an address validator that easily integrates with your existing systems and runs address validation in real-time.
Since an open-source solution would take a lot of time to integrate and offers questionable security, it’s better to use a third-party product. Such tools have built-in regulatory compliance and excellent connectivity for a single customer view. Inkit is one of the top options you should consider.
Inkit’s Reach Enablement Platform for Data Validation and a Single Customer View
Inkit is a multifunctional tool for marketers, product managers, and engineers. You can build on Inkit and include data validation capabilities into your service through Inkit’s API.
This is a much more time and money-saving approach than looking for low-quality open-source address validation and data integration services. You get a mature tool compliant with CASS, GDPR, and other critical regulations. It automatically records, normalizes, and validates address records. The cleaned data is instantly added to the connected customer data platform and synchronized with other data sets. Such a software combination gives you a single customer view and the ability to immediately use this data to render documents, engage with customers and vendors, deliver messages, and more.
Interested in using Inkit instead of an open-source address validation or address autocomplete service? Contact our team to get the demo.