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Unwiped equipment could incur GDPR penalties

October 15, 2018

Many British businesses could be leaving themselves open to penalties arising from recent GDPR legislation, with most failing to wipe the memories of equipment prior to disposal.

According to a survey by Probrand, “the majority of UK businesses” – 68 percent – have not fulfilled their obligations to ensure data is wiped from any IT equipment being disposed of. An even higher percentage, 70 percent, admitted to not having an official process or protocol for disposing of obsolete equipment.

Furthermore, 66 percent of workers surveyed confessed that they wouldn’t even know who to approach within their company in order to ensure correct disposal was happening.

Probrand also revealed the top ten industries which are “most guilty” of not wiping disposed equipment, with the Transportation industry coming out top, followed by Sales and Marketing, and Manufacturing. Information and Communication was tenth, with 39 percent of respondents admitting to their oversight.

“Given the amount of publicity around GDPR it is arguably impossible to be unaware or misunderstand the basics of what is required for compliance,” said Probrand Marketing Director Matt Royle. “So, it is startling to discover just how many businesses are failing to both implement and follow some of the simplest data protection practices. The fines involved in a GDPR breach can potentially run into the millions – and what appear to be less tangible impactors, like reputational damage, customer trust and loyalty, will ultimately become financially significant.”

Royle added: “Given these findings, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that all businesses have a disposal procedure in place to avoid inadvertently leaking sensitive data.”

The General Data Protection Regulation came into effect in May of this year, replacing the EU’s previous Data Protection Directive. Among other stipulations, it required businesses to collate the personal data they possess, so they can store, delete, or reveal, as requested by the customer/consumer.

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