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GDPR - A truly scary four letter word

The four letters G D P R have rarely been out of the press over the last year or so since the new laws came into effect on 25th May 2018. They were once again making headlines on 23rd of July 2019 with the headlines ‘Visitor books banned from major tourist sites amid GDPR fears’. So, what lies beneath the fear inducing headline that sends chills down the spine of every person luckily enough to be given the ‘GDPR Officer’ job title?

The article reports that the Office of public works in Ireland have banned the use of visitor books in many of its heritage sites due to data protection concerns. Let me quickly settle your nerves and let you know that the DPC have quickly responded saying that the banning of visitor books is a ‘disproportionate approach’ to data privacy. Phew right? Well almost. The laws are far from black and white, as you have probably already discovered. Let’s look at what the guidance from the DPC actually says:

“The DPC advocates a ‘common sense’ and risk-based approach to data protection”.

So as organisations holding visitor, or signing-in records we should first be asking ourselves, what information do we really have to collate? Is it necessary and justifiable? If so, then we need no manage those records in a responsible way by protecting the sensitive data. Following on from our own GDPR compliance assessments and the concerns subsequently raised, we have developed a unique signing in system which enables you to record the necessary information - in this case a list of all visitors on site, for use as a fire register in the event of an emergency, whilst concealing the sensitive data from public view.

SSP have a full range of GDPR record keeping solutions, designed and printed in-house enabling us to fully personalise them to your exact specifications and branding guidelines. These resources have been praised and recommended by GDPR consultants and have thousands of fantastic reviews from our schools, hospitals and corporate customers alike.

Well, that’s your visitor book GDPR compliance taken care of. Best of luck with the rest of your GDPR compliancy!

Hayley Ewens Director/GDPR officer

SSP Direct

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