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What should you consider before using video conferencing?

View profile for Tracey Dickens
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What should you consider before using video conferencing?

Video conferencing app Houseparty’s owner, Epic Games, has been accused of enabling other apps of those using Houseparty to be hacked.  This accusation could have appeared through a commercial smear campaign. However, it made me think more generally about data protection in connection with video conferencing as we all turn to various platforms to enable us to stay connected.

What considerations should you take before downloading platforms? 

  1. Are you requiring employees or others to use their personal equipment to access video conferencing? Does that result in their personal data being shared with others? Have you ensured you are aware of how their data will be used and put in place protections before asking your employees to join? This is so they are informed about how their data will be used.
  2. Many video conferencing platforms share your computer screen with all people on the call, enabling them to view documents you wish to review together. Ensure you do not have any information visible on your screen that is confidential before you share your screen. Close all such information before sharing.
  3. Are you sure the platform you are using is a private network? If not, have you locked your call so that others who were not invited, but might be linked to those that are, cannot join.
  4. Have you checked that your platform provider is GDPR and DPA 2018 compliant? Also, where conferencing may bring in participants from countries outside the EU, have you checked the provider has appropriate data protection agreements in place? This is to ensure compliance in relation to data sharing with countries outside the EU.

I appreciate such matters are probably far from your mind in the turmoil of the current Covid-19 lockdown, but compliance with data protection remains vital to avoiding unnecessary fines or reputational damage.

If you need any guidance on data protection for your company, please contact our Business team. I am based in our Colchester office and can be contacted on 01206 217326 or tracey.dickens@birkettlong.co.uk.

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