GDPR and personal data in PDF. How to access and process them?

GDPR and personal data in PDF. How to access and process them?

The GDPR – European General Data Protection Regulation is applicable as of May 25th, 2018. What is the date now? The companies ensured the privacy and protection of personal data across their information systems. Does this privacy and protection include the coverage of PDF files that also contain the personal data?

A right to access or right to be forgotten and the PDF

Customers and users have 8 data subject rights according to GDPR. A right request can be made by an individual or individual’s legal representative. They have for example a right to access or right to be forgotten.

Do you have lots of PDF files in your company that contain personal data? What would you do if someone made a right request to access his personal data being processed? This right provides for data subject to see or view his own personal data, as well as to request copies of the personal data. That’s no problem with the functionality of information system. You simply request the data from database. But what about PDF files that contain the personal data? Would you do it manually or would you ignore it and exposure your company to a risk? Imagine the same with the right to be forgotten.

A typical case

A citizen of your country “Lary McSmith” contacts your company to ask what information you process and store about him. When we are talking about some information system (CRM, CMS, …), you just put the data out from database and you are done. But what about various kinds of documents and mainly, the PDF documents? Under the GDPR you need to find all the data, no matter if stored in the database or electronic and paper documents. It may happen that you do not even know where all his data are stored. It would be ideal if you get a report from all the sources where personal data are stored: the information system and different kinds of documents. This process could be called as a “workflow”. You just enter “Lary McSmith” or some other identifier as e-mail address and you will get the complete report including data from databases and various kinds of documents.

We can help with PDF documents!

Easy help, clever solution

PDF files are inherently complex and that makes it difficult to precisely interpret different kinds of PDF files. But you can use the PDFix SDK for accessing the PDF content and finding and reporting required personal data according to GDPR. Here is the trick:

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