Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Data Protection and Confidentiality

Because I work in a highly established banking call centre we're made to data protection and confidentiality training every few months, which consists of reading a 70 page word document and then taking a test. So, for me, our talk with Natasha Mort from VAL was a very informal walk in the park. As she said it's extremely important stuff, but it is just common sense.

The interesting part for me was to compare the contexts of its application. At work, it refers mainly to personal account specific details and the focus is on the importance of taking each and every customer through security and knowing what we can and can't divulge to an individual. With regards to confidentiality it relates more high class business information - a much less personal issue than data protection and confidentiality's place in a volunteering environment.

As a volunteer, data protection revolves more around the well being of the client - only collecting details that are necessary and using them strictly for the purpose intended. And the importance of the presentation was to help us understand that a breech of confidentiality in any way could have a major impact on the lives of the individual in question. To make a direct comparison - a breech at work could result in inconvenience for the customer and a drawn out complaint as a result of which they would be compensated; a breech in a voluntary environment could result in the client being victimised within their society and even having to be uprooted from their home and relocated.

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