The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect on 25 May 2018.  Every company that controls or processes personal information, is going to be impacted, even if the information is as simple as name, email address and phone number.

In the UK GDPR will be enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office ( “ICO”).  BREXIT will not change the impact of GDPR: the UK is implementing a new Data Protection Bill that largely includes the provisions of the GDPR.  The full text of GDPR, which runs to 99 articles, is here.

How does Document Scanning help meet GDPR requirements?

GDPR means that companies must pro-actively manage the ways in which they obtain, hold and process personal information.  AD-hoc systems are no longer sufficient.  Document scanning, and a document management system, enable you to define and manage the ways in which your company accesses, deletes and secures the personal information it holds.

Accessing information

GDPR gives everyone the right to request the personal information you hold on them.  You must provide this, and you can’t charge for doing so.  If the person requesting the information is not happy with your response, they can complain to the ICO.

If such a request means trawling through boxes of paper documents, possibly stored off-site, it will cost your company a lot of time and therefore money.  If the results of the search are incomplete, and a complaint is made, it could damage your reputation, and possibly lead to a fine from the ICO.

Data retention

GDPR gives people the right to have their information deleted, and gives companies the obligation to delete data they no longer need.  With digitised data, this is quick and easy, and the audit trail is automatically generated.  With paper documents, it’s difficult and time-consuming.

Data security.

GDPR increases the requirements for data to be held securely, and increases the possible fines for failing to do so.  Data breaches must be reported to the ICO.  Scanned data in a document management system is easy to secure and control, and all access is part of the audit trail record.  Paper documents in a box are most vulnerable to loss or incorrect access or fire/flooding.

Can we help?

Moving your paper documents online may be quicker and easier than you expect. It may be your most cost-effective way of meeting the requirements of GDPR  Please do contact us for a chat about what’s involved.  We can also help you securely destroy unwanted paper documents with our shredding service.