Under the Data Protection Act 1998, businesses are required to have a data control policy in place to ensure that confidential waste disposal is used to prevent the disclosure or loss of personal or sensitive information. Thereafter, a certificate of destruction should be obtained from the waste disposal company as proof that the process has been completed in accordance with legislation.
Why Is Confidential Waste Disposal Important?
In a busy office environment mistakes can easily happen. Throwing away notes, photocopies and documents of a sensitive nature can lead to a breach of the Data Protection Act and leaked information. Any documents containing personal data such as names, addresses, financial or legal details must be completely destroyed when disposed of. Company records may have a legal retention period, so it is also important that information is not destroyed earlier than necessary.
Anthony Pearlgood, the British Security Industry Association’s Information Destruction Section Chairman said “By disposing of confidential information using an information destruction company which is inspected to BS 8470, businesses can rest assured that their confidential material will not fall into the wrong hands."
In the UK, identity fraud costs upwards of £1.3bn every year, with organised criminals paying accomplices up to £5 a document to rummage through a business’s bins. According to a survey produced on National Identity Fraud, it was found that 45% of companies discarded their headed paper, 24% threw away a director’s signature, 44% disposed of whole invoices and 20% put their bank account details into the waste paper bin. [workplacelaw.net, 2014]
How To Ensure Your Confidential Waste Is Disposed Of Properly
To avoid becoming another victim of identity fraud, it is important to ensure complete staff buy-in. Training employees, at all levels, will ensure that waste is disposed of within the legislation outlined in the Data Protection Act.
- Check all paper waste before throwing it away. If anything contains personal or sensitive information, it must be treated by confidential waste disposal.
- Bag up confidential waste and lock it away. Employ a reputable waste disposal company to securely dispose of your waste in compliance with legislation.
- Where possible, sensitive and personal information should be kept on secure USBs, DVDs, CDs, laptops and PCs. One this information is no longer need, it should be destroyed.
At Recycling Services we offer reputable confidential waste disposal for businesses all over the UK. For more information on how these services can help you, please call 01952 204471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.