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How GDPR data laws will affect SA business

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Previously, protecting data was the responsibility of the employer, but now the payroll software provider shares this responsibility. WARREN VAN WYK, co-founder and director, Payspace discusses General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on payroll.

The most significant update in data protection legislation will come into effect in May this year. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has a very specific mandate: to provide greater personal data protection. The legislation applies to all individuals within the European Union (EU), and covers all information that could identify them, both directly or indirectly. 

As a South African based business, you may think GDPR doesn’t apply to you. But this is not necessarily the case. GDPR may be EU legislation, but it affects any company that has business interests in the EU, or that employs EU citizens. Given the multinational scope of business in today’s globalised market, companies don’t stay domestic-only for long. If your company is already international, or is in pursuit of growth, then it’s crucial that you comply with GDPR sooner rather than later. There are severe penalties for non-compliance that simply aren’t worth the risk. 

How will this affect HR and payroll teams?

Payroll and HR departments process huge volumes of personal information. There is no doubt that GDPR will disrupt how things are currently done. HR and Payroll managers will have to take on new responsibilities to make sure that their processes comply with the legislation. 

Additional responsibilities will include having to issue privacy notices to employees and job applicants that clearly outline how their personal information will be used and if it will be used outside the EU. Any transfer of data out of the EU can only be done with regulatory approval. If there is any security breach, payroll managers have 72 hours in which to alert the data protection authorities. 

Fortunately, these new pressures can be shared. If your company outsources its HR and payroll processes for example, then the in-house team and the provider share the responsibility of ensuring GDPR compliance. Your data controller will oversee adherence to GDPR’s core principles, and the payroll provider will support this with technical and organisational measures, such as data encryption and secure storage. 

  

Enhanced security

GDPR is making businesses around the world reassess their data security measures and pay more attention to their current processes. This enhanced security consciousness is setting a new global standard. This means that, even if your business isn’t legally obliged to comply with GDPR, you should still make sure your company’s data protection is up to scratch. This will help you remain competitive and avoid any potential reputational damage. 

To properly assess your company’s current data security measures, and prepare for GDPR, you need to review your entire payroll process. Take it apart step-by-step and determine how the system does or does not meet the legislative requirements – and what can be done to improve it. Of utmost importance is knowing who of your employees is in direct contact with sensitive information, and how do they collect, store, archive and destroy data.

A critical question to ask is: could you reduce the number of employees that have access to sensitive information? This will mitigate risk significantly. Industry best practice also calls for companies to only gather and use the data they need to perform their business. Give your dusty data archives a clear-out and put in place processes that focus on using and storing relevant information. 

When it comes to GDPR, the best approach for South African businesses (whether they are directly affected by it or not), is to view it as a global call for enhanced data security. Getting your business GDPR compliant sooner rather than later will only serve you in the long run. Adjusting to a change in legislation can be challenging. So, make sure your payroll software is secure and that the provider you work with is GDPR compliant and you’ll be halfway compliant in no time. 

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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