Three years post GDPR – are you compliant?

May 13, 2021 | Professional Shredding

Later this month it will be three years since the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws came into force.

Before it was introduced much was made of the fact it was coming and how woefully underprepared many businesses were to cope with the new legislation. Consumers were bombarded with last minute calls to sign up to newsletters or to agree for their details to be held and businesses of all shapes and sizes were poring over the details to get their heads round their responsibilities. With maximum fines for infringements in the UK set at £17.5 million or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is greater), there was certainly fear in abundance.

The UK collected the second-highest total value of fines for data protection violations in 2020, beaten only by Italy. Businesses paid roughly £39.7 million for breaching GDPR in the UK. However – that was from fines to just three companies – BA, which was fined £20 million for a data breach that affected 400,000 customers; Marriot, which was fined £18.4 million for an incident that affected 339 million guests across the world; and a £1.25 million penalty to Ticketmaster for failing to protect its users’ data.

Now we’re all much more aware of the importance of data security and the risk to a company’s reputation – as well as their bank balance – if they get it wrong. The risks are even higher now so many people are working remotely. How can you be sure everyone is keeping your company data safe and secure?

Here at McCarthy’s we have various services which can help you meet your GDPR requirements. Firstly – are you safely disposing of your paperwork? Although many of us try to use less paper now than we once did, there are still multiple documents printed or received in the post which could cause issues if they were to fall into the wrong hands. Anything with any customer or employee details on should be destroyed when no longer needed. Our industrial shredders get to work shredding paperwork so it is impossible to reassemble. We can provide secure, lockable bins to offices (or even home offices) for any waste to be stored in until we collect it at your convenience ready for shredding – or we can provide sacks to be filled which we can collect or you drop off at our Leeds’ base as needed.

The waste paper is then recycled in the UK and given a new lease of life as toilet roll and paper towels. So, it’s an environmental win win! And you can receive a certificate of destruction as proof your paperwork was properly disposed of.

For many companies there may be paperwork they need to hold on to, sometimes for several years, for legal reasons. We can also offer a document management service at our premises in Leeds. There we file away your boxes, which are all carefully tracked so they can be retrieved in a moment if needed – or even automatically destroyed on a certain date. If you prefer, you can use our self storage units in York, Leeds, Huddersfield, Harrogate or Wakefield to safely store your paperwork, and manage the process independently.

Of course, the vast majority of data is now stored electronically. What happens when your equipment reaches the end of its life? Although hard drives, laptops, phones, USBs and discs can be wiped – often it’s not enough and someone with sufficient knowledge could still access data held within it. We offer Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling. We can ensure all data is securely wiped from your equipment before disposing of it in accordance with the WEEE Directive. Again, we can provide you with a certificate of proof for extra reassurance.

If you’re looking for help with shredding, document management, archive management, self storage or IT recycling, why not get in touch?

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