Managed Print Solutions | Part of the Cantec Group

Pseudonymisation, your Data and what the hell is GDPR?


Millennials vs. Gen X

The Millennials amongst us, including my teenage daughter, seem obsessed with abbreviations, acronyms and emoticons. Just about anything really that is designed to shorten the length of time required to get their message across.

In fact, we exist at a point in history where people invest more time in saying less than at any other time since humans began speaking.

Even romantic expressions are shorter, with babe now truncated to “bae”! And, be warned, the use of “bae” doesn’t necessarily involve any kind of romantic attachment. So, that just adds to the confusion.

There is often an embarrassing crossover between my daughter’s generation and ours. This happens when we start using the likes of YOLO, OMG and LOL to get our points across, inevitably with TMI for their liking.  And the reality is that very few of us are actually “laughing out loud” when we use LOL in a response.

Gen X types have the opposite problem to Millennials – we’re quite happy to create entirely new words to describe concepts or practices.

millennials 1030x396


What is Pseudonymisation?

Pseudonymisation, for example, would test the pronunciation skills of Anne Doyle. This is an amalgam of the terms pseudonym and -isation, designed to make the few (excluding me) who can actually pronounce the word sound articulate.

It seems to have been invented by European bureaucrats to describe the practice of separating personal data from its personal identifiers, in order for organisations to satisfy General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which come into force across Europe on 25th May 2018.


An example of Pseudonymisation and how it can protect your data:

An example of pseudonymisation would be to hold a database of personally identifiable information like names, addresses and dates of birth on one computer system.

Then a separate computer system, with encrypted codes to match them up, would contain their private information, such as credit history, medical records, etc.


The theory being that any potential data breach would be unlikely to result in personally identifiable information from one system being matched with private information from the other.

In reality the authorities will scarcely expect the vast majority of SMEs to pseudonymise their data – that’s easy for me to say! This will be mainly practised by the larger multinationals and organisations dealing with particularly sensitive personal data, becoming part of their overall GDPR checklist to ensure compliance.

SMEs will however be obliged to demonstrate other measures we have taken to prevent data breaches. Cantec deploys simple yet effective solutions within our managed print services, in order to help customers prevent data breaches with printed, copied and scanned documents.

Our range of multifunctional printers and accompanying print management software, combine to combat the interception of personally identifiable information and commercially sensitive data contained within documents. This is achieved by automatically encrypting them as they are either sent to print, or scanned to a folder.

An effective cure for “fat finger” syndrome ( those of us with agricultural digits)  prevents us from scanning sensitive documents accidentally to the wrong person. This is done by presenting users with a large ‘Scan to Myself’ icon only when they logon to the printer control panel.

Sent to Myself button

We also have a range of secure print options to suit all business processes. These prevent confidential documents ending up in the wrong hands, along with our other solutions to many other vulnerabilities in your organisation’s print environment.  Our team of systems specialists can uncover these for you during a print security audit.

Folks, I’m pretty sure GDPR is a little different to the mindless hysteria of Y2K. That “panic” was created by companies who charged handsomely for what turned out to be, in many cases, unnecessary preventative measures.

The proliferation of social media and cloud computing has changed our lives forever, and in so doing laid bare our personal information for all to see. Attempted data breaches are now part and parcel of being in business.

Organisations are therefore now obliged to protect us from breaches of this private data – or in the words of my favourite millennial – GDPR is here to stay, bae.


Greg Tuohy

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