With the modern world becoming increasingly digitised and relying on technological solutions, the issue of data protection has become more and more important. Over the past few years, there has been a growing number of security breaches and data thefts that have rocked major organisations around the world. However, governments and companies across a wide array of nations and industries have been fighting back.


What is GDPR?

Since May 2018, every nation within the EU has adopted the GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, with the hope of ensuring that companies are more protected from potential data breaches, and furthermore that customers can rest assured that their data footprint is in safe hands. The GDPR requires any company within the EU, or that operates within EU borders, to take steps to ensure that they protect the personal data and privacy of citizens and customers in unprecedented levels.

Any company with greater than 250 employees that holds or processes personal information and data must ensure that they comply with the GDPR, and any company with fewer than 250 employees that has the potential to have an impact upon personal information and data must also comply with the regulations.


Impact upon companies

Compliance with the GDPR has become of paramount importance to companies across the corporate world, as it is widely recognised that failure to comply with the regulations can be a significant barrier to operating within Europe, one of the world’s largest consumer markets. Furthermore, aside from a purely competitive standpoint, there is the potential for crippling fines for any company shown to have failed to comply with the GDPR.

In the instance of a data breach, the company at fault will incur a fine of up to £23.6 million, or four per cent of the company’s total worldwide annual turnover, whichever figure turns out to be highest. This clearly has the potential to be fatal to many large multinational firms, let alone the wide array of small-to-medium sized companies that operate within the EU’s borders. With such a significant potential risk, companies are thus scrambling to ensure that they have the correct procedures and safeguards in place to avoid this catastrophic situation.

Within firms, data controllers, data processors, and data protection officers have been tasked with ensuring compliance with the GDPR. However, despite the realisation of the importance of compliance, there are still some aspects of many company’s operations that have been neglected. One such instance is the security of the data processed through a company’s printing facilities.


Securing the safety of printing data

Whilst the security of the data handled by a company’s printing facilities often go neglected, luckily there steps that can be taken to ensure that printing systems comply with the GDPR. One such step is implementing a Follow Me printing solution.

Follow Me printing solutions are fast becoming the latest innovation in commercial printing procedures due to the increased levels of convenience and security that are provided. Not only do Follow Me printing solutions help to provide greater levels of data security that ensure compliance with the GDPR, but such systems also help to grant greater levels of flexibility and control over the printing process. Moreover, there is also the potential for a decrease in waste created by unnecessary or unintentional printing.

Follow Me printing solutions operate on a very basic two-step process:

1. A user decides to start a desired printing job on their workstation
2. Once the user is physically present at the printer that they desire to use, they start the printing process by verifying their identity through a number of authentication procedures.

This simple process has clear benefits for helping companies to ensure that they comply with the GDPR. Follow Me printing solutions have become increasingly popular in academic institutions for that very reason. For example, a student working at a computer can initiate their desired printing project, and select the desired output printer to be in the location of their next class. Once they arrive at that location, with a simple swipe of their ID card they can execute the printing order they started previously. With such a system, rather than the printed piece of paper simply lying in the printing tray until they arrive, with the potential to be seen by anyone, possibly taken, or simply thrown away, the student can rest safe in the knowledge that the information on the piece of paper has been seen by their eyes only.

Aside from ensuring compliance with the GDPR, a Follow Me system also has clear benefits for limiting printing waste. As the printing job is only executed upon confirmation with an ID card, or on a control panel embedded in the printer, there is no chance of accidental printing that wastes paper and ink. Thus, using a Follow Me system is not only essential for data security reasons; it also has extremely beneficial effects upon overall efficiency and environmental footprint.

To learn more about how Follow Me printing solutions can benefit your business, contact us today!