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UK Trade Sector Risks GDPR Fines over Poor Data Disposal

In the two months following the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), 44% of businesses in the trade sector did not wipe the data from redundant IT equipment before disposal.

This is the main finding of a survey of more than 1,000 workers in a wide range of trades, including construction, plumbing and carpentry, by IT services firm Proband.

The finding is linked to the survey’s finding that 71% of all UK businesses in the trade sector do not have an official process or protocol for disposing of obsolete IT equipment.

Nearly half (47%) of trade workers polled admitted they would not even know who to approach within their company about disposing of old or unusable equipment correctly.

The other five industries most guilty of not clearing the memory of IT equipment before disposal in the months following GDPR were transportation (72%), sales and marketing (62%), manufacturing (59%), utilities (58%) and retail (57%).

Marketing director at Proband, Matt Royle, said that given the amount of publicity around the GDPR, it was “arguably impossible” to be unaware of misunderstand the basics of what is required for compliance.      

He said: “It is startling to discover just how many businesses are failing to implement and follow some of the simplest data protection practices. This is especially startling to see from businesses in the trades sector, where sensitive customer information, including address details, are handled all the time,”

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