What you need to know about data protection if you employ temporary staff

What you need to know about data protection if you employ temporary staff

Data protection often gets a bad name.

I recall a few years back being called by a chap from some utility company.

I wasn't sure whether he'd got the right number and mentioned this to him. I asked him to confirm my name to which his response was:

I'm sorry but I can't tell you what your name is for data protection reasons”

 “You rang me but yet you can't tell me who I am?”

Even a Gallic shrug of French philosophers would struggle to understand the existential crisis that we found ourselves in.

It got me thinking: why is data protection so misunderstood by businesses? I'm sure that many businessmen and women simply box data protection off in their heads under 'overcomplicated legal regime that doesn't really apply to my business.' They believe that, so long as they don't leave their computers plugged in on a street corner with yellow sticky notes affixed to their screens with all relevant passwords scribbled onto them, they'll be OK.

Well, it will be of no surprise to learn that this is not the case. Indeed, one of the biggest challenges in recent years for many businesses, with increasingly amounts of temporary workers employed by them, is dealing with such temporary staff in the context of data protection.

So for today's post , we are republishing a helpful interview with Lizzie Charlton of Eversheds. In this interview, Lizzie discusses whether employers are sufficiently training their temporary workers on data protection issues following the ICO's recent warning in this respect.

What data protection duties are expected of employers in relation to temporary workers?

Any organisation which collects personal data and determines the purpose(s) for which it will be processed will be a ‘data controller’ for the purposes of the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998).

A business is capable of being a data controller in respect of any personal data of its past, present and potential employees and customers.

An employer’s responsibili

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