23 Nov 2023

7 Steps to GDPR-Compliant Visitor Management With Joan


In our digitized world, consenting to data practices has become second nature – a routine tick of boxes. Since the advent of GDPR in 2019, businesses have to take care to be GDPR compliant when it comes to their websites and online visitors.

However, businesses are also obligated to extend GDPR compliance beyond their websites to encompass their physical spaces, especially in managing office guests. 

This is where things can get trickier - unless you’re using a modern solution like Joan Visitor Management. But first things first.

Why does GDPR exist?

GDPR was a response to mounting worries surrounding how organizations were gathering, utilizing, and storing personal data. As more personal information became accessible, concerns about its potential misuse and the heightened risks of data breaches and security lapses were raised.

In response to these apprehensions, GDPR was enacted. It doesn’t only safeguard the privacy of everyday EU citizens but also holds businesses accountable for the information they accumulate. Non-compliance with GDPR results in severe consequences for businesses, including hefty fines, directives to halt data processing, or even the suspension of data-related activities.

What impact does GDPR have on U.S. companies and those outside the EU?

If your company operates beyond the EU borders, compliance is still crucial. American organizations engaging in business within the EU must adhere to GDPR regulations. This rule extends globally, encompassing companies from any corner of the world. It applies to all organizations processing the personal data of individuals within the EU, no matter their geographic location.


Why does GDPR apply to any visitor management systems?

Visitor management involves tracking individuals entering and leaving your premises, inevitably resulting in the collection of personal data. Even if you collect personal data in physical form (via check-in sheets or logbook) GDPR still applies as it is based on tech neutrality.

“In order to prevent creating a serious risk of circumvention, the protection of natural persons should be technologically neutral and should not depend on the techniques used. The protection of natural persons should apply to the processing of personal data by automated means, as well as to manual processing...

— GDPR Recital 15, General Data Protection Regulation”

GDPR establishes fundamental principles that the company must be aware of and must uphold in personal data processing. These are:

  • Fairness and transparency
  • Purpose limitation
  • Data minimization
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Integrity and confidentiality

Let’s take a closer look at how to make your visitor management process GDPR-compliant.

7 steps to ensure GDPR compliance and how Joan helps

In order to ensure GDPR compliance for your visitor management system, follow these 7 steps:

#1 Ask for consent

GDPR requires consent from individuals before handling their personal data. Joan Visitor Management facilitates visitor registration, including document signing and visitor consent, enhancing security and compliance.

#2 Provide information

GDPR emphasizes individuals' right to know how their data will be used. Be transparent about data usage, purpose, and storage duration.

Joan enables clear communication with visitors about data usage for registration and visitor management reporting. Guests also get access to any necessary safety or compliance instructions.

#3 Collect only what you need

Be selective in gathering information, and creating specific procedures for different guest types. Collect only the necessary data to streamline the check-in process.

Joan supports the principle of gathering only necessary data as it allows for custom fields in the visitor check-in form. It also enables hosts to input visitor information, supporting faster check-in and ensuring the visitor sees what information has been used.

#4 Control who has access

Implement measures to protect personal data. Access control ensures that only authorized personnel can access visitor data.

Joan stores visitor details securely in a cloud-based location accessible only to authorized administrators and office managers, adhering to security standards.

#5 Guarantee security

Visitor management systems must securely store data. Joan provides enterprise-grade security with WPA2-EAP support, TLS 1.3 encrypted communication, and SSO, addressing security concerns comprehensively.

#6 Respect the rights of individuals

Visitors can withdraw consent anytime and businesses must be able to remove, anonymize, or modify data upon request. Joan simplifies the removal of visitor data, ensuring compliance with individuals' rights.

#7 Keep track of data processing activities

Organizations must maintain records of data processing activities, specifying the type of data collected, its use, and sharing details. Joan Visitor Management makes it easy to see when visitor data is used for meeting invites, visitor badges, streamlined check-in, and reporting within the Joan platform.

Now imagine relying on a traditional paper check-in sheet or logbook for your visitor management. Here are the inevitable challenges that could jeopardize your GDPR compliance:

  • Unauthorized access: If your sign-in sheet is left unsecured, unauthorized individuals may access and view previous visitors' data.  Ensuring secure storage is next to impossible with paper, as it can be easily stolen, photographed, or misplaced.
  • Data collection challenges: Paper sign-in sheets make it challenging to collect only relevant data for different guest types.
  • Lack of clarity with large data sets: Managing large amounts of personal data on paper makes it difficult to provide clear and comprehensive information to individuals about how their data will be used.
  • Complicated data deletion: Organizations struggle to delete specific visitor data upon request, creating complexities when relying on paper logs.

Utilizing advanced visitor management solutions, such as Joan, mitigates these risks and ensures robust GDPR compliance.

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Joan: Your path to GDPR-compliant visitor management

Joan seamlessly integrates GDPR compliance into visitor management and aligns with data protection principles. With Joan, you’ll stay compliant and secure while simplifying your visitor management and offering a seamless visitor experience. Contact our sales and find out more about the value Joan can bring to your business.

If you want to learn more about how Joan can enhance your workplace, contact our team.