Track & Trace has become a frequently used term this year and a key part of efforts to try and control the spread of COVID-19. Of course, this involves collecting data from consumers and that is something that has been increasingly regulated in recent years. When it comes to securely collecting and handling your Track & Trace information, some official guidance has been provided - including with respect to the importance of disposing properly of these details.
What to know
The Information Commissioner’s Office provided guidance on Track & Trace information as follows:
- Ensure that you’re Asking for only the information you need to complete Track & Trace, no more. This will usually be the customer’s name, the time they arrived with you and their contact details.
- In some cases, there is no consent required for collecting Track & Trace information unless it could reveal sensitive information about the person and in addition, the person does have the right to deny giving details with no negative impact but your business must still Be transparent. Make sure you’re clear about why you’re asking for contact details so that there is no confusion.
- Be Careful about how you store the data that you collect. This should be kept secure and you must make sure that it can’t be accessed by anyone who doesn’t have the authority to do so.
- Don’t use the data that you obtain for any purpose other than Track & Trace. It might be tempting to take all that lovely data and use it for your marketing or customer profiling. However, if you want to remain within the Information Commissioner’s guidance (and not annoy your customers) you should avoid doing this.
- Erase all the data you collect once you no longer need it. At the time of writing the recommended timeframe for keeping data is 21 days. After that, you should delete everything that you have collected.
You can collect your Track & Trace data in any way that you choose, whether that is a pen and paper or via digital means. Whatever you opt for make sure that you have put in place mechanisms for protecting that data. Make sure that it is not being left in an environment where anyone could access it and put access restrictions in place when it comes to your personnel. You must make sure that data cannot be stolen by staff or customers. It’s also essential to bear in mind that if you’re collecting data from children then this comes with a lot of additional conditions.
Disposing of Track & Trace data with secure shredding
One of the key elements of dealing safely with Track & Trace data is ensuring that you dispose of it securely once the time limit for holding it has passed. If you’re using paper to handle Track & Trace then secure shredding is going to be the preferred method of disposal. This is something that should be done regularly to ensure that you don’t have data-filled documents simply sitting around or building up in piles.
Track & Trace is a new system but the requirements for data protection and safe disposal are standards that we are all now familiar with.
To find out more on how to dispose of obsolete documents or information that requires shredding, get in touch with our team on 0800 181 4106 or request an online quote.