Most of us will identify with this situation: either unable to resist looking sideways at someone’s laptop, tablet or smartphone screen, or been aware that someone is looking at ours. But what many people in the financial sector may not realise is that data breaches caused by inadvertently allowing someone to read a screen – or ‘shoulder surfing’ – can lead to hefty fines. Plus of course, there is the potential damage to corporate reputation, causing concern among customers and shareholders alike.
This is why financial organisations need to be aware of the regulation around visual privacy issues and manage ‘shoulder surfing’ as part of their overall risk, compliance and security processes. Given how many people now work remotely or on the move, visual privacy should be a priority.
Much of the legislation and regulation that governs visual privacy will be familiar to financial organisations. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are the two main regulators for the sector and although the FSA technically no longer exists, its guidelines are still relevant. In other words, the FSA’s previous observations and recommendations will influence decisions around data breach penalties.