Don’t let your COVID-19 safe practices lead to data breaches

Businesses using COVID-19 safe screening practices have been warned to be extra diligent after an alleged data breach involving the theft of personal details.

Since the global pandemic forced the closure of businesses across a wide variety of industries in March this year, doors have slowly been opening again with restrictions in place.

These include capped numbers of people in premises, the requirement to remain seated and tracing measures that involve all customers leaving their personal details at the door before entering a premise.

But in an incident that is likely to have global ramifications, a UK barman has been accused of stealing the personal information of model Lucy Dixon. He is alleged to have texted her later with a message reading: “I was working the night you came in, you’re gorgeous”.

He initially tried to convince Ms Dixon that he found her number on Instagram before replying “maybe” when directly asked if he had breached privacy laws by tracking her details illegally.

Stealing personal information from COVID-19 tracing apps and software can lead to huge fines in Australia

The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 was established to ensure Australian businesses are compelled by law to report any data breaches that are likely to result in serious harm.

COVID-19 apps and software, including tracing apps, come under this umbrella and any Australian barman who used this personal information like this UK man allegedly did would land himself, his bar and its owners in deep water.

The maximum penalty in Australia is AUD$2.1 million for “serious or repeated breaches) and this could balloon to $10 million with draft legislation likely to be tabled in parliament in the near future to further crackdown on data breaches and the protection of personal and private information.

Protect your workforce, stay compliant and keep your data safe

Site Pandemic Response (SPR) is an app that was created by software development company IONYX in Brisbane, Australia at the height of restrictions being imposed.

It has been designed to provide a safe application for businesses to use to ensure all workers have not been exposed to the virus and to prevent any risks from entering the premises.

The SPR app also includes built-in risk assessment and mental health checks to help businesses monitor and assist staff that are working from home because of the pandemic.

All of the data is secured and only visible to approved management through a central portal so that other workers do not have access to the personal information of fellow workers, contractors or visitors to their worksite.

To help keep your business operations running smoothly and to be fully compliant, register for SPR today.