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How to use document scanning to ensure GDPR compliance

GDPR has prompted many larger organisations in creating a distinct job role to ensure GDPR compliance is adhered to and significant fines are avoided: GDPR Compliance Project Manager.

Part of any GDPR Project Manager's role will be to evaluate any threats to the company's existing information management and information governance processes. Storage, distribution and security of paper and digital documents should be treated as a high priority area.

Any company with sensitive information held on paper, in files or in storage cabinets should look to digitise these as soon as possible.

This is where an outsourced document scanning service can help. For very large organisations, it may be possible to do this in-house if scanning hardware already exists, skills are good, and time is available to be allocated to a new project. Often though, even for the largest organisations it works out to be far quicker and more cost effective to outsource. Once you've added in staff costs (either in-house or temps), setup times and costs of gathering the paperwork together and indexing the digitised data, it just doesn't make sense to do anything else than outsource.

How document scanning can help to ensure GDPR compliance
  • Document Security and Privacy - Paper documents are far easier to steal, replicate or lose. Digital documents, even when stored on a basic filing system can be secured with passwords and the data can be digitally encrypted. This should be enough to take the step towards document digitisation.
  • Data Search - Paper documents are far harder to find and the contents within them even harder. Article 17 in the GDPR is the right to erasure ("right to be forgotten"). It states, "The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay". With digital documents, this process will be straightfoward, particularly if your digital documents have been OCR'd (this means text within a document can be searched). With paper documents, first you must find every document that relates to this person, secondly you must find all the relevant pages and then you must redact and replicate these. All in all, the time savings for doing this digitally are huge. Critically the GDPR states "without undue delay" twice in two sentences. How much of a delay would you have if you were working with paper documents? Perhaps the documents are stored off site, or they are in badly organised bankers' boxes in a basement? Other rights included in the GDPR are right of access, right to rectification and right to restriction of processing. All of these will be far easier to comply with for companies working digitally. Once again, the case for working with digital documents becomes very strong.
  • Data Retention - Data retention is far easier with digital documents, in fact with the right software in place such as eView and DocuWare Cloud, data retention can be set and controlled by a set of rules automatically. Without a data retention policy, a data breach would be more likely to be regarded as serious if no old data has been deleted, if there is no data retention policy or if no thought had been given to whether data should be deleted.
  • Cost - The cost of processing paper data in accordance with the GDPR is far higher than processing digital data. Although the cost itself does not ensure GDPR compliance, it's a major consideration for any business when weighing up their options.
Document scanning done the right way

Restore have been operating a secure document scanning centre for nearly 30 years. We've worked with organisations from every different industry sector and scanned just about every different document type imaginable. We've been trusted by some of the UK's most highly regarded organisations to handle their documents, process their data and return it digitally for use in just about every system available.

For further information please call 0333 060 8641 to speak to one of our specialist advisors
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