Environment & Recycling Matters
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Data Protection - Don’t Leave a Shred of Evidence

Virtually every employee in every business creates and holds confidential materials and information. In the wrong hands, confidential business documents, including bank statements, contracts, planning documents and personal details about staff and customers could do lasting damage to your business. Failure to protect sensitive data can cause significant reputational damage for the organisation involved, distress for the data subjects affected, and erode public trust in your business. Furthermore, failing to correctly dispose of individual’s personal details could mean you are in breach of the Data Protection Act.

All businesses that hold the details of customers, potential customers, suppliers, staff or any other business contacts are required to comply with the Data Protection Act, which affects how businesses and other organisations are allowed to make use of personal information. The Act applies to any records held electronically, for example on computer, or manually, such as in a paper file.

To comply with The Data Protection Act 1998, and to protect your business, employees and customers against possible fraud and other criminal acts, you should destroy your old documentation securely. Many businesses do not realise that they can be fined or prosecuted if they fail to comply.

There are eight principles of data (information) processing with which businesses must comply.
Personal data must:
1: be processed fairly and lawfully
2: be obtained only for the purpose stated
3: be adequate, relevant and not excessive
4: be accurate and, where necessary, kept up-to-date
5: not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose
6: be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act
7: be subject to appropriate technical and organisational measures being taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction and damage
8: not be transferred to countries without adequate protection

Despite the rise in cloud computing, printing documents is still commonplace amongst Northern Ireland businesses. As leaders and managers, everyone has a responsibility to make protecting the security of these printed documents a priority and ensure that staff members are aware of the need to make it a priority too.

To find out more about identifying and disposing of confidential information contact Bailey Waste Recycling on 028 3834 1449, online at www.baileywaste.com or by email.

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