There is much discussion around data protection in business at the moment especially with GDPR on the horizon.
However, sometimes other organisations don’t realise that they too must consider the control of their data.
Many clubs, particularly ones for children sports, are run by a willing committee comprised of parents and helpers. While these volunteers give their time freely and put every effort to encourage the success of the club and its members, sometimes they don’t realise that they could be leaving themselves wide open for issues.
Here we share some general advice that may help prevent data protection issues in the future.
When a new player starts it will be good practice to ensure you have all relevant details recorded. However, what information do you really need? For example, you will need contact details for the guardians but you don’t need to know their occupation or PPS number. Only ever ask for information that you really need otherwise you are collecting information that is unnecessary.
Email is an effective and low cost option when it comes to communicating with the parents of players. However, when sending out a group email it is important not to share all the recipient’s names and email addresses. By using a simple bcc, the list will be hidden and not accessible to others. It is amazing how many times this procedure is not followed.
Where is the information stored and who has access to it? Documents that contain address, dates of birth and contact numbers are all quite sensitive and should only be accessible to those that really need to see them. Information that is left lying around or in a non-secure place could be used by anybody. Think about where you store it, who has access to it and what you use it for. This will form part of your data control policy.
Up to Date
It is important to keep information up to date, not only for your use but also to prevent the wrong people getting information. Family circumstances change and people move to a new address or get a new mobile number. Make a plan as to how and when to delete information. Why not schedule a clean-up of information every 6 months as good practice. If a player has left the club maybe you want to keep a record of the time that was spent there, but you don’t need to keep all their information.
Sometimes when we hear advice such as this it seems so obvious but as life gets busy and we get stuck in the day to day activities we might forget. With data protection regulations already in place and GDPR coming soon it is important to protect committees and volunteers. Know what data you have, keep it secure and keep it up-to-date.
Datascan Document Services work with businesses and organisations throughout Ireland to help them manage their documents. Specialising in scanning and converting files to digital we take data protection very seriously.