Data Protection – paper records left out in the cold (and the rain apparently)

News and information from the Advent IM team.

It’s about this time of year that our thoughts  turn to Data Protection Day (Jan 28) and how we can bring a positive message on the subject and how vital (not to mention legally required)  respect for privacy, personal information and sensitive data is. As long standing Data Protection  practitioners, we know that the trend toward digital has enhanced the challenge to data protection in practice. But the need to protect all forms of data, including paper records, has never gone away. News of the ICO fine issued to Doorstep Dispenseree Ltd is £275k worth of great example of what happens when we fail to consider the security of paper records. 500,000 special category documents left in unlocked containers outside the businesses premises. Not only left insecurely but basically abandoned and damaged by the elements. Is there a better analogy for an unhealthy relationship with paper records?

You don’t need to scrutinise ICO stats for long to realise that non-cyber breach is a pronounced issue and part of this is our attitude to paper records.. Of the 82% (below) of Non Cyber breaches, 13% is  loss or theft of paperwork /left in an insecure location and 16% is data posted or faxed to an incorrect recipient. The paperless offices we all imagined years ago might have morphed data protection a solely digital practice, but clearly it isn’t the current status.

Advent IM chart of ICO Data breach data

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