Confidential Waste: How to Dispose of it Correctly
Businesses have a legal obligation to correctly dispose of the confidential information of its employees, customers and suppliers, and failure to comply with these obligations can lead to fines of up to £500,000, or even the imprisonment of the responsible body.
Identifying confidential waste
Defining confidential waste is key to ensuring you are disposing of your documentation correctly, and if you are unsure what is confidential waste, you might find that you are unwittingly failing to comply with the necessary regulations. Confidential waste is defined as any personal information that can be used to identify individuals, including their name, address, contact numbers or any financial data. Examples of confidential documentation that you need to dispose of correctly includes:
- Invoices and quotes
- Employee applications forms, records of employment or payslips
- Bank details
- Education or medical record
- Memos, notes, emails, letters
The Data Protection Act
A fully comprehensive guide that tackles all aspects of data storage, the data protection act aims to ensure that all personal information is handled with care and precision. The act is divided down into eight principals, and principal seven is relevant here, dedicated to the security of confidential data. The seventh data protection principle states that: ‘Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.’
In order to fully ensure the physical safety of confidential files and comply with the seventh principle, it is essential that organisations must destroy redundant confidential information to minimise the risk of data breaches.
As well as a huge £500,000 fine and the potential of imprisonment that your company can be sentenced with for failing to comply, you will also be faced with the severely damaging bad publicity and increased loss of business that you will suffer as a repercussion of having a data protection breach, the results of which can cripple your business.
To ensure you are fully complying with the data protection act, you will need to ensure that a responsible person or company is destroying the sensitive data in a secure way. BS EN 15173: Secure Destruction of Confidential Material provides key conditions that must be adhered to to fully comply to the requirements of the Data Protection Act, such as:
- The screening of personnel
- Confirmed premises security
- The safe collection, retainment and transfer of sensitive information
- Control over the destruction of confidential data
- Traceability of the destruction process
When selecting a method of disposing of your company’s confidential data, it is important that you employ the services of a certified disposal service, such as the team here at EnviroCraft.
EnviroCraft carry out the shredding of confidential information from our base in Byley and offer a nationwide recycling service of confidential data, offering a pick up from our fleet of vehicles that operate out of hubs throughout the UK. We vet our staff thoroughly to ensure full compliance with BS EN15713 and use a comprehensive method to pulp, recycle and process your confidential waste into recycled toilet paper. Our procedure ensures complete peace of mind for our customers, as well as an environmentally friendly solution of confidential waste disposal. For more information on our services, contact us here and we’ll be happy to help.