GDPR and Document Disposal: What You Need to Know

Over the past year, data privacy and protection have become increasingly important topics, with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union. This regulation has brought about significant changes to the way businesses handle and dispose of sensitive data. One of the areas affected by the GDPR is document disposal.
To ensure compliance with the GDPR, businesses need to understand the new regulations and take necessary measures to prevent data breaches. This includes disposing of documents in a secure and compliant manner.

Why is document disposal important for GDPR compliance?

Under the GDPR, businesses are required to ensure that personal data is collected, processed and stored securely. They must also ensure that data is only kept for as long as necessary and disposed of in a secure and compliant manner.
This means that businesses must dispose of documents that contain personal data in a way that prevents data breaches. The GDPR applies to any personal data, whether it is digital or in paper form.
One of the primary reasons for disposing of documents securely is to prevent unauthorized access to personal data. If a document containing personal information falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to identity theft, fraud and other crimes.

What are the requirements for Document Disposal under GDPR?

The GDPR requires that businesses dispose of personal data in a secure and compliant way. This means that businesses should have a plan and procedures in place for document disposal, including how documents will be stored, transported and destroyed.
According to Article 5 of the GDPR, personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject. This means that businesses must inform individuals of the purpose of collecting and processing their personal data, as well as the period for which it will be stored.
Article 17 of the GDPR, the ‘right to erasure,’ requires that businesses delete or remove personal data that is no longer necessary for the purposes for which it was collected. This means that businesses must ensure that documents containing personal data are disposed of securely and promptly.

What are the document storage and disposal recommendations from GDPR?

To comply with GDPR regulations, businesses should have a secure and compliant document disposal process in place. Here are some recommendations to consider:
1. Limit access: Limit access to documents containing personal data only to authorized personnel. This can be done by securing documents in a locked cabinet or room.
2. Transport: When transporting documents, ensure they are transported in a secure manner. If using a third-party service, ensure it is GDPR compliant.
3. Destruction: Ensure that document destruction is done in a way that makes it impossible to reconstruct the document. This can be achieved through shredding or incineration.
4. Record keeping: Keep records of the disposal of documents containing personal data, including when and how they were disposed of. This will be useful in the event of an audit.
5. Staff training: Train staff regularly on GDPR regulations and the importance of secure document disposal. This will help to minimize the risk of data breaches and ensure compliance with the GDPR.


Secure document disposal is a critical aspect of GDPR compliance. It is essential for businesses to have a secure and compliant document disposal process in place to protect personal data from unauthorized access. With the right plan and procedures in place, businesses can ensure that they are complying with GDPR regulations and preventing data breaches. As data privacy and protection continue to be important topics for businesses, it is essential to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and best practices for document disposal.

Check out HelpRange

Check out our product HelpRange. It is designed to securely store (GDPR compliant), share, protect, sell, e-sign and analyze usage of your documents.