1. How long do I have to keep documents before I am allowed to destroy them?
POPI states that documents or data containing personal information must not be retained any longer than is necessary and must be destroyed once the reason it was collected is no longer valid.
It is the responsibility of the organisation holding your data to keep it up to date and to take reasonable security measures, in line with industry standards, to secure that information from the moment it’s been captured until it’s been destroyed. Once the info is no longer needed, a responsible party must destroy or delete the records.
2. Once important documents are digital, how do I keep client personal information safe?
An essential part of a company’s operations is to secure important pieces of information. Full auditability on all systems and devices is crucial so that you are able to track and monitor the workflow of your documents, and ensure that vital pieces of information will not be misplaced, destroyed, or fall into the wrong hands as in the case of identity theft.
Through digitising documents, you are able to eliminate the production of extra hard copies, retrieve documents faster and re-file in the correct place. This, in turn, improves document security and minimises the risk of potential IT disasters such as fire or theft.
It also encourages secure knowledge sharing as multiple people can have access to the same information simultaneously and any document can be swiftly shared with colleagues through a digital platform such as e-mail or fax.
3. How do I effectively dispose of documents containing personal information?
POPI stipulates that the destruction or deletion of a record of personal information must be done in a manner that prevents its reconstruction in an intelligible form. For a small business this could be shredding of documents or for a larger institution, this could entail getting specialised help to annihilate digital records.
In addition to the legal ramifications of POPI, potential consequences of not destroying documents properly include identity theft, leaking of trade secrets to competitors and losing employees or money.
Companies need to ensure proper document destruction forms a part of a comprehensive risk management strategy and incorporate all branches to ensure effective risk mitigation and compliance with current and impending data protection legislation.
Questions related to Managed Document Solutions:
4. My company is expanding and we now have multiple departments. How do we keep track of the print output for each department?
Having the right print management software in place enables organisations to allocate costs back to departments (or customers), and printing costs can also be assigned to specific billing codes or projects.
In fact, a company can monitor and track costs for every document sent to any networked multi-function peripheral or device. Detailed reports tell you who printed what document on which devices, with a break-down of how many documents were printed, in colour or black & white, and their associated costs.
The hard and soft costs of printing can equal as much as 3% of a company’s revenue and effective print management can help save an organisation up to 30% of printing costs. With managed document solutions, companies can minimise printing expenses, maximise office equipment efficiency, reduce waste, ensure document privacy and boost their bottom-line.
Related: PoPI: This Changes Everything