GDPR & Paper Documents


Data Security for paper documents, records and files | GDPR Regulation and Requirements


In an increasingly digital world, it’s easy to assume that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) only applies to data stored electronically. However, GDPR’s reach extends beyond the digital realm and encompasses the handling of personal data in its physical form, including paper documents.

For the data that has been printed out e.g. emails, client files, reports, documents etc. one should make sure that:

  • Only appropriate staff have the ability to print items
  • Once printed that items are not left on the printer, but filed corrected
  • Any binder, folder is stowed in its designated filing cabinet and those can be locked and are access controlled
  • Any room which holds personal data files should be locked and access controlled
  • When disposing of personal data files, one should destroy it on the spot using a paper shredder or employ certified professional services to do so in a compliant manner.

Data Security for paper documents is an important component of GDPR regulation.


Challenges and Benefits:

While managing paper documents in compliance with GDPR can be challenging, it’s a necessary step in safeguarding personal data. Failure to do so can result in fines and reputational damage. On the flip side, GDPR compliance for paper documents can streamline record-keeping processes, improve data accuracy, and enhance overall data security.

Conclusion: Adapting to GDPR’s Holistic Approach

GDPR’s comprehensive approach to data protection extends to all forms of personal data, including paper documents. Organisations should embrace the challenge of adapting their practices to meet these requirements, whether the data is digital or on paper. By doing so, they not only comply with the law but also demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding the privacy of individuals in today’s data-centric world.


Check our GDPR Knowledge Base covering Data Security or our post about GDPR Compliance checklist for the SME.


GDPR Data Security for paper documents