Shrewsbury Solicitors Urge Businesses to Protect Privacy
20th December 2013
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A local firm of solicitors is warning businesses across the region to ensure their data protection policies are up-to-date following a sharp rise in the number of employees who use smartphones and portable devices for work purposes.

A local firm of solicitors is warning businesses across the region to ensure their data protection policies are up-to-date following a sharp rise in the number of employees who use smartphones and portable devices for work purposes. 

Shropshire-based PCB Solicitors is advising businesses to make sure they update their privacy policies after a recent incident saw a member of staff from the Royal Veterinary College lose a digital camera containing passport images of job applicants, which could have been misused for identity fraud should the photographs have fallen into the wrong hands.

A recent government study suggested that 47 per cent of employees use their smartphone or other types of portable device for work purposes, and as a result the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has now issued a warning, following a spate of recent cases, that many organisations are failing to update their data protection policies to account for the growing use of technological devices.

Jemma Jones, Employment Solicitor at PCB Solicitors, explained: “Data protection within a business environment is a serious issue, and the way organisations receive and store personal information is overseen by strict legislation. The rise in storing data electronically has meant it is easier to collect and organise, however it also means personal information is more vulnerable than ever before.

“The recent incident involving a member of staff from the Royal Veterinary College is extremely unfortunate, but highlights the need for employers to educate their staff and have adequate policies about the ways they need to safeguard personal information stored for work purposes.  It’s important to be clear about the outcome of compromising data protection, for instance even if a computer drive is password protected, a trained criminal hacker will be able to extract the information and potentially use it to commit fraud.

“I’d advise businesses to be clear with their members of staff about the types of personal data that can be processed and stored on a digital device and those that cannot. I’d also suggest that all devices are secured by a password, and access is locked if an incorrect password is inputted too many times. In the worst case scenario that a devise is lost or stolen, it is beneficial to have a remote data wipe facility to ensure data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands,” Jemma concluded.

For further information about PCB Solicitors’ complete range of legal services, please contact the Shrewsbury Head office on 01743 248148 or click on the weblink below.

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