GDPR and accurate transcriptions: what call centres need to know

Published byIRIS Team

Accurate and proper treatment of data is a make or break consideration. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has reshaped how businesses collect, process, and store personal data, citing one of its main requirements as accuracy. For call centres, this brings about a pressing need to ensure every word and piece of personal data is transcribed and recorded with precision. It’s not a small task, but businesses who are investing in the necessary technologies are getting ahead.

Understanding GDPR’s focus on accuracy

When GDPR came into play in 2018, it caused a shift in the handling of personal data. Among the many obligations it enforced on businesses, GDPR highlighted the importance of accuracy. Article 5(1)(d) stipulates that personal data shall be "accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.”

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK's data protection authority, also emphasises that companies must take every reasonable step to ensure inaccurate personal data, viewed in the light of the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified.

Without the right tools or processes in place, this spells a lot of extra work and risk for call centres, who must ensure that:

  • every spoken word is transcribed precisely.
  • every piece of personal data is recorded accurately.

Mishearing or misrepresenting this data will lead to regulatory breaches, as well as earning distrust and dissatisfaction among customers.

The dangers of overheard conversations

Call centre leaders hold the power to control the sound quality of customer-agent calls. This is done through a number of measures: agent training, robust escalation processes, and the use of proper tools and technology. However, these decisions don’t just affect customer satisfaction and agent retention—they are key players in legal compliance.

When a customer, battling to be heard over background noise, raises their voice to communicate sensitive personal information, they are heightening the risk of misinterpretation. Similarly, when an agent has to ask the same question over and over, or repeat what the customer has said for clarification, they expose data unnecessarily. On top of legal risks, it’s worth noting that 41% of UK consumers claimed they would never return to a business post-breach: getting it right first-time is vital.

These problems can be overcome easily with background noise cancelling apps (like IRIS Clarity). Solutions like this remove background noise, creating a calm environment in which clear and precise communication can occur.

Inaccurate transcriptions

From a GDPR perspective, if personal data is transcribed incorrectly, the company is breaking the law. Companies must give transcription software the best possible chance of collecting conversations accurately.

By effectively removing background noise and focusing on the primary speaker, tools like IRIS Clarity ensure that the captured audio is as clear as possible. This is crucial for transcription services, be it manual or AI-driven. By taking steps to remove unnecessary noise, businesses not only uphold their commitment to accurate data handling but also protect themselves from potential legal ramifications and build greater trust with their customers.

Discover how IRIS Clarity can help you comply with GDPR or start your 7-day free trial today.

Published byIRIS Team

26 Apr '23