Data privacy is relevant everywhere, and has become an even more important and sensitive subject due to communication through social media. We leave our data behind everywhere we go – what’s important is that it is protected and not misused. Deutsche Telekom also has a huge responsibility to protect data and make all employees aware of the subject from day one.
I’m surprised just how much support, information, and knowledge transfer is offered by the company on the subject. Data privacy is the top priority here. Regular audits and training sessions are carried out and the General Data Protection Regulation is applied. There are independent data privacy experts who advise the Board of Management in terms of data privacy and data security. There is also a whistleblower portal for employees and outsiders. Here their suspicions are reported anonymously and then verified meticulously, among other things. But now to me:
First contact with data privacy in the company
Already at the start of my training, we had the first course of our Deutsche Telekom education on the subject of data privacy during the induction. It was a subject I didn’t know too much about to begin with. It was covered in a targeted manner and dealt with in depth. We were shown what to look out for in a normal working day and why data privacy is one of the most important things for Deutsche Telekom. We completed online training with questions on the subject, in which we were shown how to conduct ourselves in day-to-day business. Every Deutsche Telekom employee takes part in this training and is retrained at regular intervals.
I also immediately came into contact with the subject in my very first days in my work settings. You can only gain access to our company building by using a personalized smart card. It’s a password-protected card with various different functions, which in this case acts as an access card. Externals, such as customers or guests, can only enter the building by registering at reception.
Data privacy in the workplace
Desk sharing was introduced here last year. That means that we have to find ourselves a spot to work everyday in an open-plan office. As a result, our office can no longer be locked up. The first thing I learned from this change was that, as soon as I leave my workstation, I have to lock my laptop so no one can gain access to it and therefore to any sensitive data. Our laptops are protected by a unique password, of course. The passwords for our account and for other Deutsche Telekom programs all have to be renewed after 90 days to ensure they are secure. At the end of the working day, the entire workstation has to be cleared and everything is put away in a locker.
In terms of my tasks and the materials I work with, there are clear classifications as regards who I am permitted to share what data with. As assistance, we have a digital hub – a very practical tool which shows simply how we have to handle different types of classified information. It classifies documents as open, confidential, or internal. I even used it myself, for example, when I was writing my essay and had to report on internal processes.
When passing on confidential documents, we always use our smart cards for encryption. The receiver can then only open them using their own smart card and the associated password. This means that no one besides the receiver is able to access confidential information.
Precautions are not just for the office
It’s not just in the office that data privacy is important. I’m sure that each of you have overhead conversations while on public transport, such as on the train. Conversations in which other people’s private data is announced for all to hear. Imagine that was your data – that’s obviously an absolute taboo! That’s why we never have this kind of discussion in a public place. If we’re working on the train, we use a privacy film so the person next to us isn’t able to see confidential information on the screen.
Our second course – because you’re never done learning!
We were recently scheduled for our second course on the subject of data privacy. Here we got ourselves up to speed on all new information and were once again shown to be mindful of the subject.
For example, we classified certain information as confidential, open and internal using the hub. We were also made aware for our own welfare, regarding how we should deal with our own data, where we can state what data, and where it would be best avoided. Social media use played a big role in this, of course.
As you can see, I’ve come in contact with the subject quite a lot in less than a year of working with Deutsche Telekom. I’ve noticed the important role this subject plays and have developed a sure sense of how to handle data. All employees are made aware of the matter and carry out their work accordingly. You can find more information under “Your data at Deutsche Telekom”.
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Then get in touch using the comment function.