Tesco gives two big thumbs up to Facit Data Systems’ GDPR data compliance solutions


Tesco experienced a massive spike in Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs) following the introduction of GDPR. Today, the company receives 150 requests each week for video and document DSARs, which renders manual processing a non-starter owing to the scale and complexity of the requests.

Tesco turned to Facit initially to solve the company’s video data privacy concerns. Among Tesco’s concerns was the fact that Tesco was outsourcing requested video footage to be pixelated, which introduced risks as the video necessarily left Tesco’s environment. Outsourced redaction (data masking) was also a lengthy process and placed Tesco in a position where compliant video might not be ready within the ICO’s mandated 30-day deadline. Outsourcing was also expensive and made it impossible to predict redaction budgets.

When Tammy Warren was appointed CCTV Policy Manager at Tesco, she immediately determined to bring redaction processes in-house, to reduce the risk of data breaches and to control costs.

Facit’s Identity Cloak video redaction software proved an instant hit. The Tesco compliance team of 4 were at first nervous about processing large volumes of video themselves, but were soon convinced that they were on to a winner. With minimal training, the team is now able to auto-redact video footage in a fraction of the times historically associated with video processing. The feedback from Tesco when interviewed at Privsec (London, 2021) was: “The team loves Identity Cloak!”

Following the success of video redaction, in terms of user feedback, cost reduction and assured compliance, Tammy approached Facit to help with the complex matter of document redaction.

Whereas video redaction is largely a linear process, document redaction has added complexities insofar that data is held in multiple locations and in multiple formats. For example, the legacy system in operation at Tesco had been unable to cope with the columns, rows and tabs in Excel spreadsheets, and unable to discover PDF attachments in email.

To illustrate the scale of the document redaction problem, consider a single DSAR associated with a member of staff who has been with the company for ten years. The amount of data is vast and spread across thousands of emails, PDFs, spreadsheets, Word documents and personnel files.

Facit’s document redaction software is able to redact data held in any format. Once documents have been downloaded using eDiscovery, they are simply dropped into Facit’s redaction software where data is irretrievably hidden very quickly according to selected keywords.

Following the introduction of Facit redaction software, Tesco can reliably process large volumes of data automatically. The amount of manual intervention required is considered minimal compared to historical labour-intensive methods

Tammy says of Facit’s document redaction software, “It’s a very good product. I haven’t had any issues with either of the Facit solutions we’ve deployed.”

Tammy Warren identifies many Facit compliance solution benefits, including:

• Can process large volumes of data quickly in-house

• Satisfied with assured GDPR compliance

• Able to work within known budgets and tight deadlines

• No reliance on costly and risky outsourcing

• Gained capacity to handle the steep rise in DSARs

• Compliance team is happy with software ease of use

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