Sharing is preparing – how a common message hub can support your GDPR compliance.

Sharing is preparing – how a common message hub can support your GDPR compliance.

Chances are, this won’t be the first post you read today about new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As the May deadline draws ever closer, fears about the repercussions of poor data management grow, and with fines of up to €20 million (or 4% of annual turnover), this comes as no surprise.

To be honest, up until 3 months ago I hadn’t thought a lot about GDPR, but this changed recently when an intern researching possible applications for Threads noted the prevalence of articles concerning the new regulations.

The 2017 Veritas report indicates that 86% of surveyed decision-makers fear failure to satisfy the GDPR could have a negative impact on their business. A surprising 18% of these respondents also believe that their company could go out of business as a result of non-compliance. SMEs now account for over 60% of all UK private sector employment, and it is these businesses who often fear they lack the funds, and work force, to manage their data in accordance with new guidelines. Almost one in three Veritas respondents were worried that their company lacked the necessary technology to search, discover and review data. Here, the penny dropped that Threads can undoubtedly help.

Many decision makers believe that effective data protection means more passwords, more accounts and definitely less sharing. This thinking needs to change, especially now processors (and not solely controllers) face statutory liability. Using Threads, any company can keep track of its communications – and stay compliant – without imposing restrictions on staff.

Put simply, Threads creates a cloud-based message hub, collating all a company’s emails, phone calls, social media and scanned documents. Most customer relationships are built through these channels, so it is understandable that most customer data arrives through these channels too. The rate at which information is shared through traditional media like email shows no signs of slowing.

So how does GDPR affect a company that relies on these channels to do business? Broadly, articles 12 – 22 ensure subjects now have more say on how and why their personal data is processed. They also have the right to access, rectify, transport and erase their data, as well as the right to be informed as to how their data is being used, to restrict or object to its processing, or to contest the outcomes of automated decision-making processes.

Threads helps companies in satisfying these rights by maintaining a fully searchable trail of all correspondence with customers.

When an access request is received, a company can use Threads to search all phone calls, emails, scanned documents and social messages for any data relating to that individual – a process that’s made even easier by Threads’ division of correspondence into companies, contacts, and projects. In accordance with the GDPR, this data can then be amended, rectified or passed on. Likewise, with Threads, subjects can be informed how and why their data is being processed instantly, giving them the freedom to restrict or object.

In a move away from previously secretive practices, subjects will now be able to fully understand the story of their data, from reading an original scanned document to listening back to a phone call from two years ago between a data controller and processor on how their data was to be used.

With such a powerful tool, it’s imperative to ensure that Threads protects the data it contains. An extensive set of rules exists determining which messages contain data too sensitive to be shared, even within the company. In addition to this, Threads handily separates new hub messages into ‘contacts I know’, ‘contacts I might know’ and ‘contacts I don’t know’.

Threads isn’t just about compliance – a collaborative hub of customer information creates a culture of sharing within a company, fostering traditions of best practice. No company can afford to allow dis-jointed paper trails, with data locked in inappropriate inboxes or scribbled hastily down for fear of missing an important point in a phone call. Threads allows you to see exactly what data you control and to share this information with those who matter.

GDPR penalties mean no company can afford to leave flows of data to and from their company unmanaged. Of course, we would think that Threads is a company’s best insurance against GDPR penalties, but even if you choose something else, it’s vital to get some insurance.