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GDPR Compliance: 5 Document Management Trends

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Author: Chris Howard

This month will mark the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the EU directive, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. For businesses, this has caused significant changes in the way data is gathered, processed, stored and destroyed. The purpose of the regulation is to protect the personal data and privacy of an individual who is a European citizen.

The advent of the GDPR has seen changes in the features and functionality companies are requesting in software solutions over the past year.  Here are the top five trends we have seen, thanks in the main to GDPR;


Full-Text Search

Full-text Search makes locating key information simple, straightforward and quick, regardless of where it exists — content repositories, databases, network shares, websites, email systems and more. Full-text search has several benefits associated with it including a reduction in search time, delivering a single, federated search interface and supporting compliance and legal requirements such as the GDPR.

As the individuals ‘right to access’ is a key part of the GDPR regulation; this allows EU citizens to request their personal information from a company who they believe is storing their personal data. Companies also have to reply to these requests in a timely fashion.

In addition to searching for content of electronic files such as Excel, Word and Outlook, full-text search would also incorporate a process to automatically OCR each scanned document, ensuring that searched of content across an organisation includes all forms of documents, be they electronic or scanned.

EU citizens also now have the ‘right to be forgotten’ per the new legislation, meaning that they can make a request for the deletion and removal of all their personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing. Companies also must have systems in place, ideally automated systems such as full-text search, that can ensure the legally abiding terms of data deletion are adhered to.




Document Redaction

Automated redaction expands the document and data security within and organisation by evaluating selected documents for sensitive information. Private information can be detected and securely redacted from image documents in a consistent and automated way. Using OCR, pattern analysis or configured zones, every page of a document stored within a corporate document management platform can be evaluated for information that should be removed.

Documents can also be placed for review before being permanently redacted. Private or confidential information cannot be viewed on the redacted image documents, even when exported outside of your DMS.

Redaction blocks sensitive information in a document by removing it and replacing it. Unlike just drawing a dark box over existing text, redaction actually removes the data. This means that searches of code and the files’ metadata, will not find the redacted data.  Therefore, it’s a reliable method of removing sensitive information from your company’s database, as opposed to a mask that still leaves data discoverable by those with the ability to find what they are looking for.

Redaction provides an easy-to-implement process to comply with GDPR without requiring an organisation to suppress relevant information or delete an entire record. By using redaction on critical documents, organisations can take a significant step towards meeting GDPR requirements and bolstering customer trust.





Document Classification

Document classification is an example of machine learning in the form of Natural Language Processing (NLP). By classifying text, the objective is to assign one or more classes or categories to a document, making it easier to manage and sort. This can be an extremely useful tool when it comes to the GDPR.

By classifying text, documents can be assigned specific categories within a content management platform, making it easier to manage and sort. This is especially useful for publishers, news sites, blogs or anyone who deals with a lot of content. However, it can also allow businesses to quickly sort through a large number of files quickly to enable rapid responses to an individual’s data queries.



Retention Rules

Document Retention manages the retention and disposition of stored documents according to predefined business rules per class of document. The destruction process is initiated by the passage of time, allowing for automatic destruction and/or removal from your DMS.

As a result, organisations avoid fines and reduce legal risks associated with expired content. Document Retention is often the initial, critical component of a completely automated records management solution.

Therefore, companies need to ensure that there is an information retention policy in place across all departments. The policy should consist of a set of automated rules to deal with the retention and disposal of personal information.


Implementation of a GDPR Process

The most stringently controlled systems and processes can be easily undermined by employees who do not know – or choose not to follow – compliance requirements. Establishing a GDPR Process that reinforces compliance requirements and training employees on that process demonstrates Due Care in creating a compliance culture. Also, monitoring, auditing and testing adherence to the GDPR Process by employees demonstrates Due Diligence.

Being able to demonstrate Due Care and Due Diligence can go a long way in defending your company against liability claims by individuals. Therefore, implementing a strict GDPR-friendly process in your company can lay to rest any fears about hefty fines for breaching regulation.



About Inpute

With over 20 years’ experience, Inpute delivers software solutions that improve organisational efficiency, reduce operational costs and increase a company’s responsiveness to an ever-changing marketplace.

Through our suite of intelligent data capture, workflow and document management software, Inpute Technologies delivers a wide range of solutions that automate document centric processes.

If you are interested in discussing some of the features discussed above any further, or would like to talk to one of our consultants about implementing a document management system in your own business, you can email or call (01) 5175100.


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