Breaching GDPR guidelines

GDPR 1 year on

Office Depot’s research suggests that hundreds of businesses across the UK and Ireland are still guilty of breaching GDPR guidelines noting a surprisingly high number of occasions where sensitive data is at risk of being lost

One year on from the original deadline, Office Depot surveyed more than 300 office workers that have sight of GDPR in their companies across the UK and Ireland. It found that while those surveyed feel their companies are fairly compliant, there are still alarming levels of bad practice being adhered to, meaning businesses are still at risk of facing significant fines of up to €20 million or 4% of their annual turnover.

Statistics from the survey revealed how one fifth of UK companies (21%) store physical documents containing personal data either on or under their desks. Untidy worktops could risk information falling into the wrong hands and therefore breaching the regulations, as other workers or visitors could pick up the data.

A surprisingly high level of those surveyed confirmed that they don’t dispose of physical data in the most appropriate way, with 12% tearing the papers up by hand and 34% using a strip-shredder. While the use of a strip-shredder may seem to be GDPR compliant, they don’t always shred to a high enough standard, meaning data can still be stolen.

The research also found that businesses are still experiencing laptop theft, yet only a half of businesses in both the UK and Ireland provide laptop users with a lock to secure their assets. Unfortunately, laptop theft is still occurring in both the UK and Ireland, and the lack of laptop locks should ring alarm bells for businesses.

The mistakes being made are potentially very damaging, but importantly, are easy to overcome. Peter D’Amery, Sales Director at Office Depot commented, “Our research shows that not all businesses check their GDPR adherence regularly enough, with a quarter admitting that they assess processes randomly, and some even failing to review at all. This is deeply concerning, and businesses should think seriously about their compliance and ask themselves ‘have we done everything we can to protect our data?’”

Office Depot has identified archive boxes, laptop locks, cross cut shredders and privacy filters as four affordable solutions essential in all offices, especially where workers leave the office for work-related meetings or require physical data to be printed and stored.