Nicky Severn, Marketing Manager at Cawleys, explains the requirements around confidential business waste.
Confidentiality is extremely important and the protection of your customers’ data is paramount for any business. The Data Protection Act has strict rules around how data can be stored and how long it can be kept. Although we are now living in a digital age, nearly all businesses still use some form paper-based documents and are left with a sizeable volume of paper waste, much of which is confidential.
Personal data breaches can lead to all sorts of issues, including hacking and fraud. As such, confidential paper waste must be disposed of carefully and securely. Confidential waste disposal is a regulated practice and if companies fail to abide by the rules they could face significant fines and severe reputational damage.
The Data Protection Act and GDPR
In 1998 the Data Protection Act became UK law. It refers to a business’s collection, processing, storage and destruction of confidential data.
GDPR is a further extension of data protection and came into force in May 2018. It is a European law that applies to all 28 states and is designed to increase the rights that UK citizens have over their personal data. It is designed to give individuals more control around how businesses use their information and make the process more transparent.
GDPR applies to ALL organisations that process or hold the data relating to any European citizen. Those who breach the rules can be fined up to 4% of their turnover!
What is confidential waste
There are many varieties of documents and items that can be considered confidential waste.
Any item that includes personal data about your customers, employees or other business suppliers needs to be protected and strictly managed and disposed of. In addition, you might have business accounts or planning documents that your business wishes to keep from the pubic domain.
Confidential waste includes:
- Customer names and demographics
- Customer contact details
- Medical or health records
- Financial information including credit card details
- HR documents
- Operational business plans
Your confidential data obligations
All it takes is one small mistake and your organisation could be breaking the law around confidentiality and breaching the Data Protection Act. But don’t panic, working with the right waste management organisation can simplify the whole process.
Confidential waste specialists such as Cawleys provide the peace of mind needed and ensure that all the necessary rules and regulations will be adhered to. Confidential Waste management companies will collect the documents securely using locked consoles.
They will then ensure the waste is kept confidential and not compromised on route to the waste processing facility. Once there it will be shredded and destroyed by a specialist team who have been certified and vetted to adhere to confidentiality clauses and are monitored by 24 hr CCTV.
Confidential waste management companies are audited regularly and must comply with strict rules. It is vital for any business that they check they check their confidential waste suppliers credentials properly before employing them.
Many businesses work with Cawleys confidential waste management. We offer the following benefits:
- Flexible local service
- A variety of bespoke secure bins and containers
- Shredding in line with BS15713:2009 standards
- Regular audits
- Services for small business or national chains
- Regular collections or a bespoke service
Contact us today for a FREE confidential waste audit.