By Published On: 12 March 2021Categories: SecurityTags: , , , , ,

If you cast your mind back to April 2016, you may remember when the European Union first discussed the concept of GDPR. You might also remember the neverending onslaught of emails from businesses asking if they could keep your contact details on file as well.

While it was a bit of a pain at the time, opting in and out of various company updates and agreements, GDPR plays a huge role in preventing the misuse of everyone’s personal data.

In this blog, we explain why parcel rooms need to be compliant and how Parcel SafePlace ensures the proper handling of your tenants’ personal details.

What is GDPR?


GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and is Europe’s key legislation on digital privacy and security. While the UK is no longer a part of the EU, European GDPR was transposed into UK law following the end of the Brexit transition period.

Almost every aspect of our lives is affected by the digital environment. From social media platforms all the way down to your local pizza delivery service, if you’ve interacted with these companies online, they have access to your personal information. Some key examples include:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Bank account details

The reason why UK GDPR is so important is that it holds companies accountable if data ends up in the wrong hands. Organisations have to ensure data is gathered legally and only used under the conditions that the data owners have given consent to.

If data is misused, lost or stolen, the company it is entrusted to faces huge fines. In one of the most extreme examples, British Airways was fined £183 million in 2019 when hackers accessed the data of 500,000 customers between August and September in the previous year.

What Does UK GDPR Have to Do With Parcel Rooms?


Two key pieces of information are collected from your tenants whenever they place an order to your residential building; their name and home address.

The company sending the delivery and the courier completing it have been granted the right to this information. However, in order to provide a full parcel solution to your tenants, we will need permission to store some of their personal details as well.

To ensure all packages are safe, secure and only collected by the owner or a trusted individual, tenants using a parcel room service will need to agree that the following pieces of data can be gathered:

  • Name — Used to match parcels with residents
  • Home address — Used to match parcels with residents
  • Email — Used as a notification method after a delivery
  • Mobile phone number — Used as a notification method after a delivery
  • Signature — Used as proof of pick up
  • Photo image of their face — Used as proof of pick up
  • CCTV footage of them in the room — Used to prevent theft

It’s very unlikely that tenants using this service would disagree with these data points being collected. Chances are you will already have most of it on record anyway.

Making a parcel room UK GDPR compliant without limiting the experience for tenants is not as complicated as it sounds. Here’s how the full process works:

Ensuring a Parcel Room is UK GDPR Compliant


Before a resident can use a service like ours, they must first agree to the terms and conditions. Parcel SafePlace is completely optional, and none of your tenants will be obligated to use it.

You or your team can log these details in for residents. However, they will still have to accept the terms and conditions when they collect their first delivery.

When deliveries are made, the courier will take the parcels to the dedicated room, which they gain entry to by using a unique access code collected at the kiosk desk. A photo of the parcel label is taken as proof of delivery and is stored on the Parcel SafePlace database.

Your tenant will then be sent an email and/or a SMS notifying them of the drop-off. This message will only contain their first name, the photo of the parcel label and a one-time-use code which grants them access to the storage room.

When collecting a package, a photo of the tenant alongside a signature is needed as proof of pick-up. The parcel room is monitored by at least two IP cameras, which can only be accessed by Parcel SafePlace employees. The camera streams are retained for 30 days on the third party encrypted servers, and are only used to track missing parcels.

Parcel collection records can only be accessed by our employees and the property managers at your residential building. If the tenant decides to leave the property, the data collected is deleted within 30 days. Resident / customer data will never be shared with other companies for marketing or other purposes.

Tenants will never be asked to divulge more information than is necessary to ensure we can notify them that their deliveries are safe and secure. If at any point they want to access their data or they want us to delete their information, they can put in a request to us at any time.

Residential operators will occasionally come to us with an additional question on UK GDPR, “If another tenant walks around the room and sees the name and unit number of another resident, is this a data breach?”

Put simply, the answer is no. Adrian Jones — a partner for the law firm Trowers & Hamlins LLP — told us:

“The fact that a courier has delivered a parcel, and another tenant might see the label, is not a GDPR issue for Parcel SafePlace or landlords. This is because you are not processing the information in any way. It is simply property belonging to another person, which has been left on public display. Resident names are not protected in this context, and as any LinkedIn search will tell you many people share the same name.”

Keeping Your Tenants’ Data Safe & Their Parcels Secure

At Parcel SafePlace, we take the privacy of the tenants in your residential building seriously, and we ensure it never causes disruptions in our service.

Our only aim is to provide you with an effective parcel collection solution, which will have a positive impact on the daily lives of your residents. In turn, this can help greatly when it comes to tenants renewing their leases if they find Parcel SafePlace is a service they use regularly.

We understand that finding space for a dedicated parcel room can also be a challenge in its own right, so if your building is short on space, PSP Lite could be the answer. Best of all, you could qualify for a free two-month trial period.

A service such as Parcel SafePlace will soon be needed in all residential buildings, especially with the growing amount of online sales. Whether it’s our full product or PSP Lite that’s best for you and your residents, know that we take every measure to ensure your residents’ data is safe and secure.

To see how Parcel SafePlace can work for you, make sure to get in touch.