Well we can blame spring cleaning on GDPR too…

New year, new resolutions, we all do it.  This falls into the category of going to the gym, dry January and writing a blog every week.

So what about data?  We have realms of the stuff and digital files with names that we swear we will remember but that we never do.  Along with broken filing cabinet keys and access rights never set up.

It almost seems like an and of term job that isn’t prioritised and is usually given to those on the lower rungs of the ladder  However this can’t be further from what needs to happen.  How long you keep what categories of data for can dictate how if you keep the right tax records and customer records so these decisions are very important.  Its called a data retention policy and every organisation needs one, or how will you know if its the right stuff to throw away.

With the introduction of data subject access requests, people have the right to see what data you hold on them so again its very important that you do what you say you do.  No one ever looks forward to a compliant from the ICO, no matter how diligent they have been.

So you have been through the data, you’ve worked out what you need to keep and what don’t or can’t – then what?  The usual is the shredding pile.  This pile has loads of data that everyone walks passed, pokes at and hopes someone else does.  Hopefully with nothing like employee special category data (not on my watch and yes I am mean to my clients!) or customer addresses.  There are various ways to get rid of the data, you could cross cut shred yourselves and dispose of very securely.  You could ask one of those nice secure data destruction companies that appear in your carpark and distruct away on your site.  Or you could get those guys to pick your secure data waste up then prove that they have done what you asked with a data destruction certificate.  Whatever you use, make sure that you have a note of what was destroyed so that you can prove its existance either way.  You can build this in your processes so it willl seem normal after a while.  Don’t be tempted to hang on to that customer data, that decision has already been made, you don’t even make that product any more!
It feels great and cathartic to have a clean out, what on earth will you use all that space for?

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