3M draws attention to physical privacy issues as part of EU GDPR compliance

3M, the science-based technology company, is working with UK businesses to raise awareness of ‘physical privacy’ following the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25 May, which requires organisations worldwide to rethink how they access, use and maintain personal data.

3M is highlighting the need for physical safeguards against data privacy threats, including making sure that screens and printed documents are not easily viewable or accessible by unauthorised individuals.

Peter Barker (EMEA market development manager within the Display Materials and Systems Division at 3M) informed Risk Xtra: “There are a variety of ways in which data could be stolen that people may not have considered, yet could still impact GDPR compliance. For instance, an employee reviewing sensitive data on a smart phone in a public place and not noticing that someone nearby is observing the screen, or even snapping an image. In the office, screens can also be vulnerable to unauthorised viewing. It’s important to make sure that paper-based sensitive data isn’t inadvertently exposed and thoroughly erase data from obsolete computing equipment.”

Barker continued: “A breach of data could result from something as simple and fast as someone seeing private information on a screen. With more people having more devices, along with more open-plan and mobile working, those risks could increase. Making sure that there are strict strategies around document access, such as routine shredding, locked briefcases and cabinets, plus using privacy filters to protect screens from prying eyes will help to ensure better physical privacy, both in and outside of the workplace.”

Privacy filters fit quickly and easily on to a variety of screens, including desktop monitors, laptops, tablets and smart phones. They ensure that on-screen information is only visible straight-on and at close range. Otherwise, prying eyes merely see a blank screen. Privacy filters can also help to protect screens from scratches and unwanted glare.

Hypertec is one of the UK’s main suppliers of privacy filters from 3M. Victoria Roberts, the company’s marketing manager, added: “We’ve seen a sizeable increase in requests for privacy filters within our reseller base, where we actively help them engage with customers to implement protective on-screen data measures designed to ensure that sensitive information is secure.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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