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GDPR and Print Compliance - One Year On

The 25th May 2019 saw the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It has had an impact on all our businesses, but for those who use print and network-connected MFPs what have we learned over the past year?

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 had an impact on all businesses, regardless of size, forcing them to assess and define how they collect, process and handle both customers and employees’ personal information.

Is Your Printing GDPR Compliant? How to Get Ready for the Directive

GDPR brings with it tougher fines for non-compliance and personal data breaches. Failure to comply will incur a potential fine of €20 million or 4% of a company's annual turnover - a good incentive for companies to take data protection seriously.

According to the European Data Protection Board, in the last year there have been over 144,000 complaints, nearly 90,000 data and 446 cross-border investigations launched relating to GDPR. Fines totalling €56 million worth of penalties have also been levied in the first year of GDPR.

As the anniversary of the regulation passes, now is the time to not only reflect on the processes you’ve put in place, but also look to the future and put in place strategies on improving upon data protection in your business.

Testing and Updating GDPR Policies

The most important lesson learnt over the past year is that GDPR isn’t simply a box-ticking exercise. GDPR is now part of the very fabric of business policy making and as a result requires ongoing attention to keep up-to-date. This needs to come not only in the form of financial support from the business, but also in internal monitoring, reviewing and improvements of processes. This is because many of the privacy controls put in place are already starting to look out of date.

GDPR gives your customers and employees the right to access any and all information that is held on them by your business. This information needs to be accessible at all times and as technologies evolve, the methods of storing and accessing this data will change.

Therefore, your business needs to have effective processes in place that evolves as your business grows. This means creating effective workflows, typically through systems you already have in place, such as your networked MFP, and staying on top of changes.

Businesses need to monitor, test and re-evaluate their workflow processes on a regular basis. This means dedicating sufficient resources to managing data protection. Technology is advancing constantly, if your business isn’t keeping track of these changes and adapting its GDPR processes accordingly, you’ll quickly find your spending more time fighting fires than actually working.

GDPR and Your Business

One of the biggest problems around meeting GDPR compliance is the process itself. Many businesses have simply found it too hard to put a strict and coherent policy in place.

What’s more, as consumers and businesses see the need for greater control and transparency of their data, protection in the form of GDPR and similar schemes, will continue to grow. For example, in Europe, non-EU countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein have already aligned data regulations that bare striking similarities with GDPR. It’s also worth remembering that countries who deal with EU member states also need to comply with the regulations.

For the latest developments surrounding GDPR, businesses in the UK and across Europe should stay up to date with the changing landscape using the European Data Protection Board website.

By partnering with a business like Sharp and our range of Office Document Solutions, we can help streamline and refine those processes, allowing you to get on with the important role of business.

Keeping Data Safe

When it comes to being compliant with GDPR, transparency is vital. Be clear as to what personal data is being collected and why. Whenever personal information is being requested, a clear choice for the user to opt out or withdraw consent must be present.

One element of GDPR that can easily be overlooked is around the security of information being stored. A security breach could result in personal information being seized by outside sources. It is the responsibility of the business holding that data to make sure it is kept secure.

By creating a secure information and data network from point of entry to usage, you’ll not only protect your business from attack, but should the worst happen and a data breach does occur, you’ll be able to prove that all the necessary regulatory requirements were met.

How Sharp Solutions Can Help with GDPR Compliance

GDPR is now one-year old and while you may feel that you are handling customer data correctly, now is the perfect time to re-access the needs of your business.

Sharp offers a wide range of security solutions which can help. From security features built-in to Sharp’s MFP hardware, to secure print management solutions, and a Cloud-based service for storing and sharing electronic files, and managed IT Services including PC protection and secure back-up. Whatever your business size, we can help you protect your information, without putting any extra burden on your team.

For more information, including Sharp’s security guide, visit our Information Security page.


European PR Manager