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19 June 2019
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Paper logs do fall within GDPR rules © iStock

20 December 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal


Sixty-two per cent of office workers check out who has checked into an office before them because organisations are inadvertently breaking GDPR regulations, shows research by software company Proxyclick.


Its study elicits that 62 per cent of office workers across Europe and the US have confessed to looking at the list on a paper visitor book to see who has signed in before them – meaning that those businesses that continue to use paper logbooks are in breach of GDPR.


The paper logbook leaves the records of previous visitors easily visible to anyone who looks at them.


Even the solutions intended to prevent this from happening, such as 'discreet sheets' or 'peel-off systems' are imperfect and can be easily tampered with. Under GDPR, organisations should ensure that the names of those who have previously signed in are not visible to the next person.


Gregory Blondeau, founder and joint CEO of Proxyclick, said: “There is a myth that paper falls outside of GDPR, but that’s not the case."


He added: “Any form of structured processing of personal data falls inside the scope of GDPR. GDPR is technologically neutral, which means that any kind of processing of personal data – either electronic or manual – in a structured and consistent manner has to comply.”


Making paper logbooks GDPR-compliant is possible, but it’s not easy, he said.


“If the logbook is safely stored, if the data cannot be disclosed to third parties (other than receptionists), if it is destroyed in the shredder on a regular basis, and if all other GDPR requirements are complied with it may be argued that a logbook might indeed be GDPR-compliant.”  


Meanwhile, the research shows that a third of people feel uncomfortable about providing personal data during check-in – 35 per cent of people are still nervous about the idea of signing in via fingerprint, facial recognition or voice recognition software – with the main reasons being a feeling that it’s unnecessary for the level of their visit (85 per cent) and not wanting personal data being stored by the company they’re visiting (73 per cent).


This demonstrates that many visitors need to be reassured about how these new technologies are using and storing their data before they’ll feel comfortable using them, added Blondeau.


Through the independent research firm OnePoll, Proxyclick surveyed 2,000 US and UK office workers during summer 2018 about their experiences in corporate lobbies.


The research indicates that 40 per cent of office workers have experienced a negative corporate welcome when coming into a building. Over 70 per cent (71.48 per cent) cited unfriendly receptionists, followed by over half (53.78 per cent) naming a lacklustre welcome as top reasons for their bad experience.