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If you have a visitors’ book, please go through this checklist to see if you’re at risk of a GDPR breach.

  1. Can visitors see information about earlier visitors when they sign in? This is probably a data privacy breach. Standard signing-in books do not comply with GDPR.
  2. What happens if somebody walks off with your visitors’ book? I’m afraid this is also a breach of data security and confidentiality.
  3. If a visitor exercises their GDPR ‘Right to be forgotten’, verbally or in writing, you must erase/delete their personal information. How do you achieve this in your visitors’ book? Rip out a whole page?
  4. How long does your visitors’ sign-in book sit in your reception? How is it stored? What happens to the book when it’s full? If used visitors’ books are stored in a desk or cupboard, you’re in breach of GDPR because you’ve kept the information longer than necessary after the visitor has left, especially if they’re unlikely to return.
  5. Do you explain to each visitor how their information will be used, then gain the permission required under GDPR’s ‘Data consent and storage’ requirements before visitors sign your book? Can you prove that each visitor has given their consent before they signed?
  6. Do you need all the information that is stored in your visitors’ book? GDPR stipulates that you can only collect required information. Does the information you need about each person vary according to visitor type? How does your visitors’ book help you manage this? Or does it hold the same information about each person who visits your premises?

In general, visitors’ books breach GDPR, which are now enforceable. As a result, visitors’ books are being replaced by most organisations.

What happens if GDPR is breached UK?

Failure to comply with the UK GDPR may leave you open to substantial fines. There are two tiers of fines: a maximum fine of £17.5 million or 4 per cent of annual global turnover – whichever is greater – for infringement of any of the data protection principles or rights of individuals.

If you need advice or would like to discuss options available for replacing Visitor Books such as Visitor Management Systems please contact us on 08000 43 42 41.