Your privacy matters
The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force in May 2018. I comply with GDPR as follows:
- I am a sole trader with no employees and I am the only person who has access to my computer, which is password-protected.
- My website has a contact form and an option to sign up for my newsletter. I hold any such submitted data in accordance with GDPR requirements.
- I hold data that I need to fulfil my obligations to my tax authority (HMRC). By law I must include a client’s name and address on my invoice and I am obliged by law to keep that information for six tax years.
- I work only on-screen, so all my work files are in digital format and stored on my hard drive.
- I occasionally exchange work files through Dropbox (password-protected) if they are too big to email. I routinely delete such shared folders once a project is complete.
- I back up my computer regularly to a separate hard drive. I do not back up to the cloud.
- I keep all work files, even very old ones, on my hard drive – this is useful if a client comes back to me because they’ve lost files, for example.
- Clients for whom I provide editing and proofreading services will be asked to provide full contact information once they have agreed to hire me. This will be stored in my email system and on the invoice in my digital filing system on my desktop PC.
- For the purpose of providing my services, I ask for name, email address, telephone number and physical address. I do not share these details with third parties. I hold this data securely on my password-protected PC and on my phone, which is protected with a password and fingerprint ID.
- I do not collect any personal data, including but not limited to a client’s sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, genetic and biometric data, health, political affiliations or other personal information, except where I need it for the purpose of writing features as a journalist. Any such data is stored only on my computer.
- New editing clients will be asked to explicitly accept my terms and conditions – these are sent in PDF form when the client moves to hiring me.
- I will contact a client during the course of a current project. I may sometimes make contact to let you know of my availability for future work.
- If, after six tax years, a client wishes for me to delete all contact details and invoices from my files, I will do this. I will also delete any personal data I have collected for the purpose of writing journalism features. The client needs to send me an email to request this, just as an email was required when I asked for the information in the first place.
- Sometimes I don’t have the availability to work on a project or don’t think I am the right person for the client. I may offer to help find another professional for the client In such a case, I will not pass on the client’s contact details, but with their permission will ask around among my colleagues and then, and only then, put them in touch with each other with the explicit permission of each.