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.”