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Are You Ready for Data Privacy Day?

25 January 2018 / by 3M Company (author) / Bracknell
3M Privacy Filter for Widescreen Laptop. (photo: The 3M Company)
3M Privacy Filter for Widescreen Laptop. / (photo: The 3M Company)

3M shares advice with organisations in the United Kingdom on how to make printed or on-screen information less visible to onlookers, ahead of Data Privacy Day on Sunday 28 January (which will also be known as "Data Protection Day" in Europe).


Prevention of ‘visual hacking’ – which is the ability to view or photograph sensitive or confidential content on someone’s screen and then use that information for illegal or malicious purposes – is relatively easy, fast and inexpensive compared to other aspects of security, says 3M.


“Improving visual privacy in the office or when working in public spaces reduces the risks of security breaches, helps achieve compliance with regulations, such as ISO27001 and the introduction of GDPR in May,” says Peter Barker, EMEA Market Development Manager, Display Materials and Systems Division, at 3M. “Other benefits include reduced risk of fines, financial loss or damage to market reputation. Better visual privacy demonstrates that an organisation takes protection of their sensitive information seriously.”


Research shows that visual hacking is a very real risk: in the Global Visual Hacking Experiment** conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of 3M in 2016, visual hacks were, on average, successful in 91 per cent of attempts.


Visual privacy best practices

Best practices 3M recommends include:

  • making staff more aware of their own visual privacy responsibilities
  • reducing the volume of printed documents left lying around in offices
  • instigating strict screen-saver and log-in policies after short periods of inactivity
  • angling screens away from onlookers, both at work and in public places
  • fitting privacy filters on smartphones, tablets, laptops and monitors.  Privacy filters can be easily slipped on and off screens and prevent information from being viewable except straight on and at close range, so that onlookers only see a blank screen.


Data Privacy Day (also known as Data Protection Day in Europe) is observed in approximately 50 countries worldwide, including the UK. 


About 3M Privacy Filters

3M Privacy Filters help secure personal and confidential data displayed on a screen by blacking out content from unauthorised side views, allowing businesses to remain compliant with privacy policies. As experts in screen privacy, 3M offers one of the industry’s most complete line of screen privacy filters, available for most of today’s high-resolution monitors, laptops, tablets and smartphones. For more information, visit www.3M.co.uk/PrivacyFilters.






3M Company


3M Company

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

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