GDPR and licensing – is it still a challenge?

Is GDPR still a challenge when it comes to customers’ licensing? Yes … and most definitely no. Every now and then, one of our more active dealers will ask us, “Why can’t we register the licenses for PrintFactory, why do we have to disclose who our customers are to you instead – doesn’t that just slow things down?”

In a commercial light, you can see how it’s not an unreasonable question. And of course, we’ve all felt the impact of double opt-ins and extra levels of personal details’ security since the changes to data protection took place last year. Like any other software manufacturer, we take these things seriously. But that applies to our dealers’ commercial interests (and who doesn’t want to sign up new customers quickly!), and also the immediate privacy and security of our end-users, and their clients too.

Cloud-based security and functionality

PrintFactory’s online account – the cloud-based element of our software – gives end-users access to a lot of functionality. The user’s account is used to store backups of their profiles, configurations, other files. It’s also used to manage individual jobs and to create usage- and certification reports. All of the data in the account is protected by current GDPR laws, there’s no exception, and it’s ring-fenced. There shouldn’t be any concerns at all for the user about data ‘leaking’. We take great pride in the security protocols we’ve built-in to our software.

  • In short, all of the information about the end-users’ jobs, those jobs’ content, their settings, and our users’ client details simply must not (cannot) be accessed by the dealer. Or by us.

If we *did*provide licenses via dealers, it would mean sharing data that’s supposed to be individual and private. That’s something that would put us sharply in contravention of GDPR. We can’t imagine what would happen if there was a risk of PrintFactory users being able to see information about other users’ jobs and customers, let alone share or edit profiles, or delete and re-print jobs!

Our widest customer base (our users and their clients), are living and working in an ever more connected world. We’re keen advocates of Industry 4.0, we see the immense benefits of using large amounts of data proactively to derive efficiencies right across a print workflow and on, beyond, out into a business. We also see the need for smoother administration and we recognise that, sometimes, having centrally-administrated licenses isn’t the easiest option. But, bottom-line, every PrintFactory user needs to have confidence in us and our software: they need to have their own, individual account, acting as the repository for not only all of their data but also their licences – connected to that data.

(Incidentally, if you’re interested in our thinking on the way forward with big data, you can download our free White Paper on Automation, the Cloud, and Industry 4.0 – a taste of things to come.)