According to research from the software company, TAAP and OSP Cyber Academy, businesses such as pubs, bars and coffee shops have been collecting customer information wrongly. In fact, the research also shows that staff are not being trained on how to collect data correctly, which then puts customers at risk of identity theft.

Rather than using secure technology, some businesses have noticeably been recording customer information using pen and paper, putting their personal data at risk of being leaked.

“Lots of customers are rightly worried about handing over personal data. Many businesses are struggling to implement effective data protection compliant registration systems. COVID has brought a whole new issue for small businesses like pubs and cafes which are not used to handling customers’ personal data,” said Irene Coyle, data protection officer at OSP Cyber Academy.

Businesses could incur charges of up to 4% of the annual turnover, or £17 million from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). They will also be at risk of legal actions if there is any evidence of not complying to correct data regulations.

TAAP recently added a SecureID feature to its Visitor Book app, which digitally logs the coming and going of all customers and visitors. The app, which already complies with GDPR, now ensures that all customer data can only be viewed by system administrators with its SecureID.

There has since been a huge interest in the app as businesses become eager to find solutions to help manage customer data collection rules.

“This was our thinking behind adding the SecureID feature to the TAAP Visitor Book app to provide another layer of security. While it is right that businesses want to get back open unless they take data compliance seriously, it could be costly,” said Steve Higgon, CEO at TAAP.

“Thankfully, technology is on hand to help, and we would love to see the Government get the message out.”

TAAP’s Visitor Book app also includes a contactless registration feature that can be used by businesses of all sizes. The firm encourages small businesses to consider this to avoid highly costly legal fees.

Also, take a look at our guide on how to reopen your small business as lockdown eases.