Paper track and trace carries data protection risks, says tech company

paper Test and trace NHS
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A data software company has said that publicans may be opening themselves up to legal action by using pen and paper to take customers details as per the NHS’ Test & Trace programme.


A recent survey of UK pubs by TAAP and the OSP Cyber Academy found that 90 per cent of pubs in London and Essex were using hard paper copies to log the details of their visitors, which – so the surveyors claim – opens them up to the risk of falling afoul of data protection laws.

“Lots of customers are rightly worried about handing over personal data,” said OSP data protection officer Irene Coyle. “Covid-19 has brought a whole new issue for small businesses like pubs and cafes which are not used to handling customers’ personal data.”

Coyle added that shyster “no-win, no fee claims lawyers will look into this area,” and said that falling victim to a successful claim could cost as much as 4 per cent of a venue’s annual turnover, as per rules laid down by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

But British Beer & Pubs Association CEO Emma McClarkin has played down data protection concerns, telling Sky News that “the majority [of pubs] have been working incredibly hard to implement these guidelines and are doing rather well at it.”

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