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How do I ensure my use of video conferencing calls complies with GDPR?

With the loss of face-to-face meetings in the current situation, video conferencing has taken centre stage. But how do you do that in a compliant way? Here are some of the main high-level data protection issues to consider when selecting and implementing a new third party provider’s video conferencing system.

  1. Make sure you do your due diligence on the security measures offered by the provider. Clearly you can’t visit them, so look at the information offered publicly by the provider and read good quality, reliable, third party sources and ask the provider questions directly. Also ask any other organisations you know that use the provider. Document all this.
  2. If personal information is being sent outside of the UK/European Economic Area, make sure that transfer complies with GDPR. If it’s a US provider, is it registered in the EU-US Privacy Shield list or does it offer a model clause contract (you’re likely to need the 2010 version)? Or is the service provided from a country whose data protection laws offer equivalent protection to those in Europe? Look at the support service as well as the hosting. Document this.
  3. Make sure you put a compliant processor agreement in place. The provider should offer one as part of the contract terms. Check it meets GDPR requirements.
  4. You’re likely to need to update your privacy notice, particularly if you’re going to record calls. Provide participants with a short message and link to the privacy notice in the meeting invite and on any registration page.
  5. Create or update other GDPR-mandated documentation – for example, depending on your use, you may need a legitimate interests assessment and to update your record of processing.
  6. Finally, configure and use the system in a secure and compliant way. Look at the settings/options carefully and think through the security and compliance implications of each. That could include deciding who in the meeting can share their screen; whether or not you use passwords for participants; whether or not to record, and if you’re going to record, where to store the recording. Document your decisions and the reasons for them.

The ICO has said it understands that resources, whether they are finances or people, might be diverted away from usual compliance work during the pandemic. However the last thing you need at the moment is to create a bigger problem than the one you are trying to solve. So do the best you can, ask for help from one of our specialists if you need it, and keep the whole thing under review.

On 16 April 2020, Ian Hulme, the ICO’s Director of Assurance, posted a blog for business owners, employers and managers about how to safely roll out the latest video conferencing technology.

On 21 April 2020, the NCSC published security guidance for organisations on choosing, configuring and deploying video conferencing services.