Does GDPR Apply to Paper Records? (+ Other GDPR FAQs)

February 1, 2024

Yes, GDPR does apply to paper records. Since its enforcement in May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has brought significant changes to how organisations manage, process, and store personal information of individuals within the European Union. In this blog post, we’ll delve into how GDPR affects paper records and address other frequently asked questions regarding GDPR compliance.

Who Does GDPR Apply To?

GDPR applies to any organisation that processes personal data of individuals within the EU, regardless of whether the organisation is located within the EU or not. This includes businesses, charities, government agencies, and other entities that handle personal data.

What is Classed as Personal Data?

Personal data under GDPR includes any information that can directly or indirectly identify a person. This encompasses a wide range of data, including names, addresses, email addresses, financial information, IP addresses, and more.

GDPR Consumer Rights

Under GDPR, individuals are granted various rights concerning their personal data. These rights include:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

Organisations must address information requests promptly, typically within one month of the request. Failure to comply with GDPR regulations can result in significant fines imposed by data protection regulators.

With this in consideration, the person responsible within your organisation should be asking the following questions:

  1. Can you access information you may need in a timely and cost-effective manner?
  2. How long would it take you to find this information?
  3. Do you know where this information is?
  4. How many copies of the document exist?
  5. Most importantly, can you adhere to GDPR if a customer asks you for the right to erasure and you cannot find the information?

If the answer is ‘NO’ to any of these questions, your organisation must make necessary steps to ensure compliance is met. The consequences of failing to adhere to GDPR are significant; data protection regulators have the power to impose fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of worldwide, annual turnover, as well as reputational damage.


GDPR has ushered in a new era of data protection, necessitating organisations to reassess their data management practices. While many focus on digital data, paper records must not be overlooked. Compliance with GDPR requires organisations to ensure efficient access to and management of both digital and paper records.

To ensure compliance and streamline document management, consider digitising your paper records with Storetec Services. Our solutions enable easy search, immediate access, and controlled management of documents, empowering organisations to meet GDPR requirements effectively.

For expert advice on GDPR compliance and document management solutions, contact us today. For information on how GDPR applies to postal mailings, read our blog. Protect your data and streamline your operations with Storetec Services.

Related Posts

Need more office space to social distance?
July 15, 2020
Make Room In Your Office: Get Rid Of Unnecessary Storage With life seemingly starting to resume post-COVID-19, businesses are facing…
Document Archiving Guide: 8 Steps from Paper to Digital
January 21, 2022
Learn about the definition of archiving, plus the importance of managing business documents. Discover how to go from paper documents…
A Joined Up Approach to Human Resources Scanning
April 28, 2022
Discover the benefits of a joined-up approach to human resources scanning. Explore how we can streamline your HR document management.