The first question we need to answer is: What is a document management system (DMS)?
Simply, it is a means of receiving, tracking, managing, and storing documents that is line with your data protection and privacy policies.
A query we get quite often at CSRB is, does UK GDPR apply to hard copy documents? The answer is; yes. UK GDPR was compiled to be “technologically neutral” and applies equally to paper and digital files.
The easiest way to retain data securely is digitally. It ensures that only those with the correct permissions can access personal data and helps to improve operational efficiency.
For example, the digital scanning process itself needs to be carried out in accordance with your data protection policies. All formats and sizes of documents from A4 and A3 single sheets to books, technical drawings, accounting records, and photos can be handled by CSRB. These scans can be catalogued in a secure, searchable, database. Your material can be stored in the PDF/A format designed for archiving and long-term preservation of data. We can also assist with the secure destruction of the hard copy documents once they are no longer required.
There are many advantages of digitising your confidential document. For example, keeping track of all critical business documents and having them accessible around the clock to remote staff across the world will enhance the speed and accuracy of workflows. The business risk inherent in having large quantities of inaccurately stored and indexed files, whether online or in physical form, is greatly reduced with a secure document management system.
Furthermore, giving your team access to correctly managed documentation can have a direct impact on your customer service, and bottom line by allowing those with the correct permissions to easily access the information to support client work and resolve problems.
Another benefit surrounds the fulfilling of ‘subject access requests’, providing individual data subjects with a copy of the personal data held on them, quickly and easily.
The ICO explains data subject rights regards a subject access request and here are just two important individual rights to consider:
- You have the right to get your personal data from an organisation in a way that is accessible and machine-readable, for example as a csv file.
- You also have the right to ask an organisation to transfer your data to another organisation. They must do this if the transfer is, as the regulation says, “technically feasible”.
These requests are made considerably more feasible, and easier to comply with when data can be retrieved from a secure document management system.
CSRB helps you to understand which personal data you can or must keep, and what you can securely destroy. If our advice is that you must keep it, then you will need to either digitally scan the data or store the physical documents securely.
Keeping personal data and confidential documentation safe is a legal requirement under the Data Protection Act (2018) and UK GDPR. Get in touch with us here or call 0117 325 0830 to learn more about how we can bring clarity to your data management processes.