Like most businesses, we are all dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 virus. You and I are challenged with the task of running a business during lockdown and trying to work out how to emerge from the restrictions and recover.
A topic close to the heart of the hospitality industry these days is the idea of the "COVID Passport", which the government plans to use to "enable" a return to normal society.
It appears to be a reasonable idea although it turns out the concept of a passport is a hot topic of conversation. You see, amongst other things, there are data protection and privacy issues. Such a passport may be used to deny services to people. It may be used to isolate people. It may be forged and used fraudulently. The storage of personal data it would demand (it would need a very big database linking up to other items of personal data about you as an individual) presents a significant risk to your future personal privacy.
Cards on the table.
We’re not doing this just because a regulation says so.
We protect personal data and privacy because it should matter to each and every one of us. It makes sense on both a personal and business level.
As we reach the end of one of the most challenging years of our lives, those of us who have made it through ought to be thankful. We are bruised, in many cases scarred. Yet we are still here and we are preparing to make 2021 the year we recover.
We end the year with our privacy rights intact. The GDPR enhanced our rights as individuals over what can be done with our own personal data.
The regulations also makes organisations and businesses responsible for upholding those rights. Some are doing this now, many are not. Others are doing it and are making the most tremendous pills of it.
They don't mean to of course. They just... are.
For businesses, the opportunity to extract value from personal data is there for...
Part of the response to the challenge of running a hotel during the COVID pandemic has been to adopt some contactless technology.
The technology can be really easy to deploy. In some cases deceptively easy.
In the world of data protection and privacy, you need to be careful how you use the C word in polite conversation.
A note from the author:
You may have read elsewhere on these pages that we are just a bit sceptical of the notion of "compliance" with GDPR or the Data Protection Act. Some people have taken me to task about this, so here is an article which clarifies my experience and thinking on the topic. So many businesses were sold on the pig-in-a-poke notion of "compliance" in the run-up to GDPR being implemented. It is clear nowadays that compliance on its own just doesn't work. This is my view on why that might be.
Treat it as a starting point for a discussion, rather than a definition. Obviously this is based on my own experience. It would be interesting to take it further.
Allan Simpson - hotelDPO
As you read through the sales blurb created by most privacy management software providers, law firms and...
Why would you want to outsource part of your organisation?
You know what you're good at. If you're a hotelier, you're good at running hotels. You might be less good at other things, which is why you make use of the services offered to you by accountants, lawyers, specialist cleaners, plumbers, electricians, Information Technologists, website builders, copywriters, photographers and so on.
Photography, for example, is an interesting one. I am a keen amateur photographer. Keen, but ultimately disappointing.
My wife is a trained professional photographer. We can be standing in the same place and take photographs of the same scene in front of us at the same time but the images she shoots are always better than mine. Her framing is better and she captures the essence of every scene more effectively than I do. It happens every time.
She has forgotten more than I will ever know about photography. It comes naturally to her (through no shortage...