How can pubs take customer contact details safely?

Software company TAAP and data compliance experts OSP Cyber Academy found 90% of venues were using pen and paper when they researched procedures at venues in the Essex and London area. 

Publicans should be aware there are risks associated with this method, such as that a physical clipboard or log could fall into the wrong hands, the companies said.

When pubs do not comply with GDPR and data protection compliance rules, they risk fines from watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). There could also be legal actions from no win no fee claims lawyers who specialise in data breaches. 

Irene Coyle, data protection officer at OSP Cyber Academy, said: “Lots of customers are rightly worried about handing over personal data. Many businesses are struggling to implement effective data protection compliant registration systems. Covid-19 has brought a whole new issue for small businesses like pubs and cafes which are not used to handling customers’ personal data.”

Legal actions

She added: “Worryingly, no-win, no fee claims lawyers used to pursue whiplash and PPI claims will look at this area. When they do, it could raise the possibility of legal actions in the tens of thousands of pounds.”

A fine of up to 4% of annual turnover can be incurred from the ICO, in addition to reputational damage. This would mean a pub with a yearly turnover of £100,000 could face a fine of £4,000 for failing to meet data compliance guidelines,

This is in addition to the risk of passing on coronavirus through surfaces touched by lots of customers, the two companies said.

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