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GDPR and the consequences for the Workplace Occupancy Study

  • Managing Occupancy

Author: Jordy Finkers

Jordy is our IT & Development Director.

On 25 May 2018, the new European Union privacy legislation called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enforced.

What is GDPR?

GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is all about ‘Personal Data’. Any data is considered personal when it relates to an identified or identifiable individual. A name, for example, will directly identify an individual while a phone number indirectly allows you to identify someone. Even if you can bring two pieces of data together using publicly available information. Like a telephone number and a name via a phone book, all pieces are considered personal data.

In this blog, Jordy Finkers, Senior IT specialist at Measuremen, answers the most common questions on the consequences of GDPR. And its impact on our Workplace Occupancy Studies.

1. In what way does GDPR affect a Workplace Occupancy Study?

The data gathered during a Workplace Occupancy Study gives insights into how physical objects are being used by your employees. We relate this data to objects or rooms in order to report it to our clients. Through this process, we register the behaviour of your employees. By default, the data collected in a Workplace Occupancy Study does not link to specific individuals. However, in instances where we as Measuremen might have been able to identify a person based on data for example situations like departments with only two employees, comparison of room reservations that include the name of the user or a heat map for a floor with a fixed desk where we also have a name attached to each desk.

2. What have we done to comply with GDPR?

In order to make the Workplace Occupancy Study GDPR compliant, we have taken the following steps:

  • Measuremen no longer accepts floor plans, list of desks. department lists, etc which might hold any information that can identify an individual. This means no names, personal phone numbers or any other type of data that can contribute to determining who sits where, uses which room or is within the scope of the Workplace Occupancy Study.
  • If we accept any information from clients to identify groups (like departments, teams, etc.), these groups may never be smaller than 10 individuals. Groups that are smaller have to be combined into larger groups by the client. Even departments of for example 12 persons of which 8 have a desk on one floor and 4 on a different floor are not allowed since the smallest group size is less than 10.

3. Does GDPR apply to clients in Australia or the Asia-Pacific which are not part of the European Union?

Yes, the GDPR still applies. Measuremen processes and stores all data centres in Frankfurt. Since this entity is located in The Netherlands, which is part of the European Union, the GDPR applies to all our data, no matter if this data is gathered in Australia or anywhere else in the world.

4. Is it still possible to make heatmaps in the Workplace Occupancy Study?

Yes, we can! What isn’t allowed anymore is having a list of names that tell you which desks belong to who (or any other document with the same result).

5. Is it still possible to measure offices with fixed desks?

Sure, no problem at all. You can measure offices with fixed desks as long as the client doesn’t send us any information on which desk relates to whom.

Would you like to know what a Workplace Occupancy Study can mean for your business? Have a look here.

At Measuremen we take privacy and personal data very seriously. In case you still have questions that are not answered in this blog, you can always get in touch with our team of experts.

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