GDPR: How Does It Affect Document Management Back

GDPR: How Does It Affect Document Management

Back in early 2018, a lot of companies all started to get worried about the same four letters… GDPR. These stood for “General Data Protection Regulation” and this act proved to be one of the biggest causes for change in data privacy in the last couple of decades.

The main goal of this new legislation was to help protect customers’ privacy in an age where most of our data is now kept online, rather than on paper documents.

Failing to comply with these regulations forces businesses to face large fines and a smear on their public image. For an idea on how big these fines may be, data controllers can face fines of up to 4% of the company’s revenue!

If you are still using antiquated systems to handle your data, it might be time for a review to see if they’re actually GDPR compliant.

One way to easily achieve this compliance is to use a GDPR document management system. This allows for a far more streamlined process of storing and accessing documents and the information you hold.


How Do Document Management Systems Work?

GDPR document management systems work by storing and managing all your documents electronically, as well as keeping track of where they are at all times. This has a number of benefits such as:

  • Preventing filing errors
  • Saving you money on administration
  • Reducing the loss of documents or personal information
  • Allowing you to easily find documents after they have been indexed
  • Reducing delay in response time when you can’t find the document you need

This system can be used in any business, whether you use fully digital files, still have a couple of paper-based processes, or are even still fully paper-based.

Each document is scanned in to ensure the information you hold is accurate and then indexed to allow it to be found more quickly when searched.


What GDPR Forces Businesses To Do

Alongside current data protection laws, businesses still need a valid reason to hold personal data. To be fully compliant with GDPR, businesses also have to provide the following rights for its individual customers...

They have to inform their customers

At first, you might have thought GDPR resulted in a lot more spam emails than it prevented! But, it’s important to realise these were a way to comply with GDPR. We, as a business have a legal obligation to inform you about our collection and use of your personal data or face the potential consequences.

Businesses also have to provide customers with the right to access the entirety of their personal information

For example, if one of your customer's requests their information, then you must be able to provide this to them, as well as letting them know how you are using it.

Using a document management system will easily allow you to find the specific pieces of information you need to ensure GDPR compliance. This means less time rooting through the filing cabinets.

The ability to create an audit trail using this solution is especially useful as you can ensure that all of the data currently held has been passed on. This ensures full GDPR compliance.

The users also have a right to erase their personal data

As well as the right to view the information you hold about them, GDPR also states that the person can choose to have it deleted.

The problem comes when you can’t find the data in the first place. This is what shook a lot of businesses up when they first heard about GDPR. A lot of the information they held on users might not have even been on the same site, never mind in the same filing cabinet.

In this case, it is easy to comply with the GDPR by using a document management system. It’s a simple case of using the system to search for the personal data and then deleting it when requested.

Customers also have the right to move their data

If they so wish, this principle allows a customer to obtain their data and then move it across to a different service. This ties in with the above point about them being able to access their data in the first place.

However, you are also under the time scale of one month. This can prove tricky if you don’t know where the data is in the first place, or whether it’s all held in the same place.

The use of a document management system will not only allow you to easily find all their data. It will give you the peace of mind of knowing you actually have complete data to provide the customer.

It also vastly speeds up the GDPR compliance process. Imagine facing thousands of these requests in the same month! This could easily cause some companies to grind to a halt - this is when document management systems really prove their worth!


What Should You Do If You Think You Have A Problem?

There also exists a more general guideline, not strictly related to GDPR, which is how you hold the actual data itself.

Every effort should be taken to make sure data is kept in an organised manner, in order to readily comply with GDPR, but also in a way that stops potential data breaches.

All companies have a duty to report any personal data breaches to the relevant authorities within three days of initial detection.

This is the last thing any company wants. The leaking of personal data or any of the information you hold causes masses of bad publicity as well as a major loss of trust with your client base.

Document management systems will help you avoid this. They allow a strict document process for any piece of information your company holds. This allows you to efficiently organise your entire document flow, and in the unfortunate case of a breach, will allow you to easily pinpoint which data you need to report to the authorities.

For more information on document management systems, have a look at our document storage page. For further queries, please call Secure Storage Services now on 0151 293 4000 or fill in an enquiry form.