Card Printing Tips & Advice

Beginners Guide to Used Card Printer Ribbon Data (Part One)


Following this three-part series will allow you to make better decisions when it comes to the secure disposal of the data you print onto photo ID cards, and inevitably reduce the risk to yourself and the business.

The aim of this article is to give those responsible for ID card printing a clearer understanding on used card printer ribbon data and the risks it carries.

In this three-part series we will cover:

  • What is used card printer ribbon data and why is it a risk? (Part One)
  • Current disposal methods for your used card printer ribbons (Part Two)
  • How to protect data and destroy your used card printer ribbons (Part Three)

Are you ready?

Let’s do this.

Part One – What is Used Card Printer Ribbon Data?

In simple terms used card printer ribbon data is the information you print to a photo ID card, see below:

Used card printer ribbon containing sensitive employee data.

The information you print onto each card is left as a trail on the ribbon. This data is clearly visible and should be treated as sensitive data.

This means only authorised personnel should come into contact with this and be responsible for its secure disposal.

Now, here’s the bad news.

Most businesses and organisations we speak to simply put these ribbons in a standard waste bin.

If you do, please watch this two-minute video as you’re probably breaching GDPR regulations and you’ll need to make some instant changes.

Why is Used Ribbon Data a Risk to Your Company?

In essence, each used ribbon can contain up to 250 employee records meaning data such as employee names, job roles, expiry dates and much more is out there in the public eye.

Ask yourself, would you give someone access to 250 people’s data in any other form?

This puts you at a massive risk of a data breach and is against GDPR regulations.

Not only could the company be liable to a hefty fine, but you could also find yourself at risk of dismissal as it was your job to ensure this data remained secure.

How Does This Relate to GDPR?

Due to the new GDPR regulations, every company must now have firm policies in place to protect company and employee data, and these must be visible to anyone and everyone they work with.

Whether this disposal is done in house or externally, there must be a clear, legitimate plan in place.

For more information, download our free guide: ‘The Effects of GDPR on ID Card Printing‘.

How do you Currently Dispose of Your Data?

With imprints left on used printer ribbons, you should have a strategy set up to dispose of these ribbons efficiently and securely.  The same will apply to used or old cards – even if an employee leaves your firm, you are responsible for their data from start to finish.

By taking the steps to consider secure disposal methods, you are saving your organisation and yourself from significant risk.

Part two of this series explains the ways businesses currently dispose of used card printer ribbons.

Adam Bennet
Adam has been the Digital Marketing Manager here at Digital ID since 2015. Adam is in charge of the content creation and promotion on our blog and has been featured on sites like Entrepreneur, Talk-Business and Brighter Business to name a few. See what he gets up to in the office by following him on Twitter @adamjbenno.

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