A DATA company has warned hospitality venues to ensure their track and trace systems are watertight before the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme starts next week.

Magenta Data says the food and drink industry will be under renewed focus once the discount offer launches on August 3.

The Segensworth firm, which has its own platform for collecting details for contact tracing, says some venues may struggle to meet GDPR requirements or leave customers at risk of a data breach.

Since hospitality businesses were allowed to open earlier this month, venues have had to collect customers’ contact details in case a coronavirus outbreak requires customers to be traced by the NHS.

Daniel Jain, director of Magenta Data, said: “Some pubs have already had to close and contact customers after Covid-19 symptoms were reported.

“There have also been some reports of customers being contacted personally by staff from venues and marketing emails being sent without consent.

“It is a minefield for venues, and the Eat Out to Help Out’ initiative will only shine the spotlight more brightly on the food and drink sector, especially if it lifts off in popularity.”

Magenta Data is backed by data specialist, MediaBase Direct which has more than 25 years delivering applications and other digital products.

It supplies data solutions for a range of sectors, with clients including BMW.

Magenta’s own system for the food and drink sector is called Affixr. It allows customers to self-scan QR codes with their phones and then enter their contact details on a screen.

Data is encrypted and stored securely for venues to access if required.

Customers do not need to download an app and the venue does not need hardware such as a tablet. The system allows businesses to collect the details of all customers, not just the bill payer.

Mr Jain said: “All venues must ensure that their systems are watertight when it comes to GDPR and data protection.

“The government has already had its own well-publicised problems with its track and trace system so it shows just how confusing the whole issue can be,” he added.


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