Staying on top of GDPR compliance in a changing data landscape – Dobson

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It’s easy to imagine the scene in the offices of real estate brokers and agents across the country over the past 12 months as unprecedented levels of demand from homebuyers put severe pressure on the industry. .

Amid all the hectic activity and rush to close the deal, is it likely that for every transaction all personal data has been processed and stored securely in accordance with GDPR requirements?

As anti-money laundering (AML) due diligence guidelines changed during the initial lockdown from viewing paper documents such as passports and driver’s licenses to emailing scans and photos for verification, it would be a minor miracle the shortcomings had occurred.

It has been a difficult and at times confusing time for AML and due diligence regulations, with some big changes introduced in recent months that regulated companies must absorb.

It’s now been three years since GDPR came into effect in the UK and many businesses are still grappling with it.

Secure storage

This raises interesting questions about where and how customer data is stored, and how long brokers, lenders, and transport agents keep it secure.

It is common for clients’ documents to be photocopied and kept in a filing cabinet, perhaps in a desk drawer or even in someone’s bin, so that they are handy while working on the job. case. But it also puts them within easy reach of anyone who is not authorized to see them.

Clearly this presents risks in terms of GDPR, so the data is more likely to be kept in a digital database on the corporate network. However, can you be sure that your hardware is secure?

Also, when was the last time you cleaned your copier’s hard drive? Many copiers still take an image of the document you’re copying and store it on the drive, which means when it’s time to upgrade your machine, you’re sending all that data out of the gate unchecked.

Data hosting is one of those behind-the-scenes functions that are extremely important to a company’s compliance, but can be left out in the midst of the rush to close the deal.

Brokers unnecessarily pay multiple checks to different agencies, and there is also a huge cost in terms of time as they can spend hours manually checking paper documents which is not necessary.

The technology available today will not only house the data securely, but also perform continuous monitoring that automatically updates customer records if things change, as well as searching multiple databases in seconds.

The result is a complete, FCA-compliant report every time a search is done, so if a business gets knocked on the door by an auditor, the data is compliant without having to do anything.

For businesses new to the post-Brexit regulatory landscape, switching to electronic verification for customer onboarding processes will save time and money, and ensure you always know where the data of your customers.

John Dobson, CEO of SmartSearch


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