Why PDF is your GDPR Solution

by Conor Smith | February 27, 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means a lot of changes in processes for many different industries and companies. From collecting customer data to protecting and deleting personal information in all systems in a compliant way, GDPR is helping to shape a better process for businesses in the long run. Once May 25th comes around companies will need to ensure that their systems are compliant with these new European regulations. This could mean introducing new technology into your company.

With GDPR, everyone your company has ever been in communication with (clients, prospects, even your employees) can ask for a full report of every single piece of information you have on them: contracts, emails, documents in general, which they should receive in 30 days or less.

Do this as an exercise: try to find and collect every single piece of information your company has on you across your CRM, ERP, email servers, and other systems. Mission impossible, right? Now picture yourself doing that for every one of your customers. Have you started to sweat yet?

There is no reason to panic right now. Scalability in GDPR compliance is crucial and by using PDF as your document management system, you can make the process of becoming GDPR compliant more natural and more fluid, far from the nightmare it may seem on paper.

Using some of our top features as examples, we will show you how easy it can be to create the document workflows you require to achieve full compliance.

Full-Text Search

When a customer requests their information from you, you need to be able to search all your documents for references to that customer quickly and easily. Using full-text search, you can search your whole PDF document management system for mentions of that customer name in record time. In the same way, every PDF document can be scanned for instances of a word, cutting out the need for manual searching.

Rights Management

You require sign off on a contract from your legal department, but the document includes a customer’s personal information that other departments in the company should not be privy to. To exercise caution in this instance you can set your document rights management so that only people with a password can access the document but cannot edit it directly, only annotate. Tightening this security even further you can set a time deadline to grant access to team members so they can only access information for a limited period e.g. 4 hours, 8 hours, or even 2 weeks.


Say your customer wants their personal information deleted from your system. A full-text search brings up a contract with that person’s information in it. You cannot simply delete the whole contract as you may need this for your own reporting. In this case, redaction is a better option. Redaction is the process of censoring or obscuring part of a document for legal or security purposes. Using PDF technology, we completely remove the information from the front and the backend of the document forever.

Metadata & Accessibility

With PDFs, companies can set the metadata behind them to make files easier to search and find. For instance, each person’s profile in your database could have a uniquely identifiable code that is added to their metadata as a category. This way, once someone requests their information, a company can search for the uniquely identifiable code from that customer which will pull any documents that hold any data from that customer in a matter of seconds.

Foxit Software is actively working with key enterprise companies to create a custom GDPR Solution that can help you reach GDPR compliance in record time.

Contact us to talk about how we can help you become GDPR compliant today.