Marketers / Releases

Salesforce Spring ’18 Updates to help you get GDPR Compliant

By Lucy Mazalon

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Length: 3:10


For months, Salesforce (and Pardot) users have been anxiously biting their fingernails over GDPR. Not only is GDPR a large burden for Marketing and Data Processors to bear, and a maddening change in internal processes, but moreover, how the CRM would support compliance was left to speculation.

That’s until the Spring ‘18 Release Preview came along, which contains essential CRM developments for data protection and privacy. The updates will take effect at General Release, expected around the 2nd week of February. Until then, I encourage you to read this post, consider your business’ requirements, and even sign up for your own pre-release org.

Introducing the ‘Individual’ Object

What you need to know: There’s a new standard object called ‘Individual’.

A new standard object, called ‘Individual’ will serve its purpose by storing a person’s data preferences – that is, how they wish their data to be stored, used, and shared.

‘Individual’ records will have a lookup relationship to a Lead or a Contact, extending them with the extra contextual information that shouldn’t be clogging the Lead/Contact record.

A First Look at the ‘Individual’

The ‘Individual’ Object can be enabled in a matter of seconds from Setup.

You’ll find it under ‘Data Protection and Privacy’, and once you click edit, you can check the box ‘make data protection details available in records’.


Finally, the instructions are to add the ‘Individual’ field to the Lead and Contact page layouts.

Once you have, you will be able to associate a Contact/Lead to their relevant ‘Individual’ record via a lookup search:

Out-of-the-box Fields

Out-of-the-box, the records are basic, but functional:

These are the fields that are ready for use, and not necessary for you to create.


  • Don’t Market, Don’t Process, Don’t Profile, Don’t Track
  • Block Geolocation Tracking
  • Export Individual’s Data
  • Ok to Store PII Data Elsewhere (PII = Personally Identifiable Information), also known as data transfer.
  • Forget this Individual


  • Birthdate/Individual’s Age; to calculate eligibility for data protection as a minor (child). There are two picklist options: 13 or Older, and 16 or Older.

Change Tracking:

  • Created by/Date
  • Modified by/Date

Advantages & Ideas

Storing this information is clearly beneficial, bringing added efficiency and control to data processing. The Individual Object can be used as the basis of workflows, such as data deletion for data that has been kept for ‘longer than is necessary’. Use standard reporting to easily categorise and filter records before executing mass actions, such as sharing with 3rd parties.For Marketers, we too gain added peace of mind. Again, using Salesforce reports for campaign segmentation means we can be sure to exclude anyone who has opted out of marketing communications (think more broadly than email), and who do not wish to be profiled. If possible, it would be wildly exciting to expose the fields in the ‘Individual’ Object so that the data subjects, themselves, can self-administer (across Email Preference pages, Forms, Community pages).

Considerations and Question Marks

As I mentioned previously, the object is simplistic and functional in design. No bells and whistles here. A Salesforce Administrator should enhance this object with formula fields and auto-populate some fields to avoid unnecessary data input.

Question marks appeared for me when I considered how the information on ‘Individual’ records would be reflected from within the Pardot interface.

Currently, when it comes to Email Preferences and Pardot, it is mostly centered upon the ‘Do Not Email’ field, which has special qualities that safeguards and honours opt-outs across both platforms. The ‘Do Not Email’ field must remain on the Lead/Contact Page Layout for now, considering how Prospects sync with Salesforce, based on their relationship with a Lead/Contact record.

With Pardot set to move into Sales Cloud as a native Salesforce application, it will grant a lot more flexibility in the data model, that is, having the potential to form relationships with more objects than solely Contact/Leads.

Finally, a question for you to consider. What fields do you need to add to the Individual Object for it to fully encompass your data-related operations?


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The Author

Lucy Mazalon

Lucy is the Operations Director at Salesforce Ben. She is a 10x certified Marketing Champion and founder of The DRIP.

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