Don’t Forget About Data Protection

It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a year that has changed the way people have worked.

Although some sectors may have been looking at ways they could work remotely, others have had a rough ride as they’ve attempted to maintain business as normal whilst adapting to these unprecedented times.

In recent weeks, more and more sectors have begun to open, and companies have been actively encouraged to get people back to work where possible. This could include people working from home, instead of in an office space or at a place of work.

However, as organisations are ensuring their work places are Covid-19 secure, the Information Commissioner’s Office has outlined some key steps that businesses need to consider with regards to keeping personal information safe.

The six key data protection steps set out by the ICO are:

  • Only collect and use what’s necessary
  • Keep it to a minimum
  • Be clear, open and honest with staff about their data
  • Treat people fairly
  • Keep people’s information secure
  • Staff must be able to exercise their information rights

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, said:

“We know from speaking with businesses that you understand there is a responsibility that comes with this recovery phase. We have been answering questions about the riles around organisations collecting additional personal information to provide a safe environment for their staff.

“Data protection does not stop you asking employees whether they are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms or introducing appropriate testing, as long as the principles of the law – transparency, fairness and proportionality – are applied.

“The further guidance we have published will help you comply with these principles, so people’s data is handled with care as we all continue our journey back to normality.”

Although, this all seems like common sense, at these unprecedented times it’s always good to have a little reminder to ensure that will writers don’t breach any rules which could result in fines or other repercussions.

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