Glasgow-based firm set to benefit as new legislation sets tough penalties to aid data protection
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:14
Reforms to European data protection laws are set to force Scottish businesses to take more care over the way they store and destroy sensitive and confidential information.
According to a speech this week (to be made Wednesday, 25 January) by EU Commissioner Viviane Reding, the revised EU Data Protection Directive will see pan-European regulation replacing the existing patchwork of 27 national codes, giving individual citizens the right to control their data.
The draft legislation also requires businesses to take greater steps to demonstrate compliance with data protection regulations, as well as increasing penalties for non-compliance fines - which could reach up to five per-cent of global annual turnover.
Currently £500,000 is the largest fine that can be imposed in the UK by the Government's data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for companies breaching UK data protection laws.
The revised legislation is set to increase the workload of Shred-it, a world-leading information destruction company, which has been operating in Scotland since 2002. The company operates six specialist 'shredding' trucks from premises in Kinning Park, Glasgow, serving businesses across the west of Scotland.
"We saw a marked upturn in business following the last increase in the powers of the Information Commissioner Office in 2010, but it seems that many companies and public sector organisations have now slipped back into bad ways," said Klaas Dykstra, General Manager of Shred-it Glasgow.
"The new Directive, and the powers it will give to the ICO, will serve as a timely wake-up call to any business that still does not have a proper data management and destruction system in place."
Under the new legislation, it is expected that public and private sector organisations with more than 250 employees will now have to appoint an independent data protection officer to safeguard against lost, stolen and breached data. Their role will be to monitor whether the processing activities are carried out in compliance with the data protection policy and the new law.
Klaas Dykstra added: "The first stage of ensuring that any organisation is safe from the risk of data breaches, and is compliant with the law, is to draw up a data protection policy.
"Although the safe disposal of electronic equipment such as hard drives, USBs and laptops has to be of paramount importance, companies still need to be clear about how printed documents will be securely destroyed. All the firewalls and passwords in the world will not prevent the risk of paper documents being lost or stolen from insecure bins and ordinary disposal methods."
Shred-it manages 16 branches across the UK has operated in Scotland for the past 10 years - bringing secure on-site document destruction services direct to customers' premises, ensuring total confidentiality in security and shredding.
Shred-it Glasgow is the market leader across the west of Scotland, operating six specialist 'shredding' trucks from the newly opened Kinning Park branch. A further eight trucks cover the east and Highlands of Scotland, operating from Kelty.