Contact centre goes paperless after embarrassing incident in summer

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A charity has ensured its documents get scanned to a central cloud following an embarrassing situation earlier this year.

A contact centre that takes calls for a charity in Northern Ireland has made changes to the way it operates after an incident in the summer saw confidential data lost.

Contact NI runs Lifeline via an office in Derry and people in distress can call it to be put in touch with an adviser who can help, BBC News reports.

However, in July this year, dozens of telephone call log sheets were lost and ended up scattered around Derry city centre, meaning the details of personal phone calls could have been read by anyone passing by.

The Information Commissioner stepped in to find out what happened, but Contact NI also carried out its own investigation and this has now finished.

This discovered there were deficiencies in the management systems and that data protection was not being adequately ensured by personnel.

Fergus Cumiskey, contact managing director, said the charity had been left embarrassed by the whole incident.

"Confidentiality is critical to our credibility with callers. We initiated an independent review to ensure this will never happen again," he explained.

Mr Cumiskey added that lots of new measures have been put in place since July.

"We have invested heavily in the Derry office, we now have full and part-time staff there and that makes all the difference. We have also moved to a completely paper-free system so that this kind of event can never re-occur," he commented.

It comes after an incident in New York saw confidential police documents thrown down on to the city’s streets as ticker tape during a parade, meaning people could easily read information about arrests and other informants.

Employing an organisation such as Dajon to carry out document scanning could help businesses dealing with sensitive data to ensure it never becomes visible to the general public.

The pages will be stored in the cloud, rather than in an office where they can be lost, stolen or thrown out with the rubbish.
 

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