How can BPOs ensure true data privacy in document processing?

Every transaction, in any industry, generates or uses a document. These documents are ubiquitous and varied, from shipping documents and airway bills to those that hold more sensitive information, such as ID forms, personal financial statements, and health documents. While the scope and purpose of these documents is wide-ranging, three goals remain concrete: documents must be processed securely, quickly, and accurately. So, how can you maintain full compliance with data privacy regulations while managing volume spikes and the quick turnarounds needed to meet service-level targets?

Growing data privacy concerns in document processing

Cyber-related attacks on organizations are on the rise and ultimately affect everyone: individual consumers, small businesses, large corporations, and all levels of government. And despite hearing the alarm bells for years, there has been a sharp rise in cybercrime, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic when the landscape of how and where we work changed. Not coincidentally, the role of the CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) within organizations has become more powerful while a larger portion of the budget is directed to strengthening IT and data security. In a 2023 study, 350+ CISO’s reported a 15% increase in organizational spending on data security due to generative AI and 93% expect a cybersecurity budget increase in 2024.

These budgetary reactions highlight a shifting role for CISOs. Initially simply a part of IT departments, a CISO’s importance and responsibilities have broadened to include compliance assurance and incident response. And why not? In a 2023 Statista survey of global organizations, 72% of respondents reported a cyber threat in the past year. These challenges occur across multiple industries, with manufacturing, business and consumer services, and healthcare proving the most susceptible to risk.

In this climate, the manner in which documents are processed is an increasingly vital part of an organization’s success. There is no wiggle room: a customer and organization’s shared reputation relies on document processing to be managed securely. This involves everything from the people that receive or process the documents to those that lift data to the systems the documents are stored on, and beyond.

Use case: Processing sensitive HR documents

Security and data protection are always essential tenets of document processing, but nowhere is this more critical than when handling personally identifiable information (PII).

Concorde Inc., a BPO that provides compliance and screening programs for clients’ prospective employees, processes high volumes of HR documents through both government and commercial engagements. These documents often contain Social Security numbers, personal background checks, confidential HIPAA information, and drivers licenses; in other words, PII that demands the highest level of data privacy.

In this case, Concorde had more than 80,000 HR documents that required processing in a short amount of time. In addition to the privacy concerns, the accuracy needed was paramount. Luimbe Domingos, Concorde’s CTO, points out, “Most important [to us] was accuracy, especially when you’re talking about safety and compliance. We need to know the information we’re getting out is accurate.”

Adding to the challenge of quickly and accurately processing this volume of documents, while still maintaining privacy, was the broad variety of the forms themselves. These documents included 13 different fixed form types, each having about 5 variations. Many of these contained poor image quality common with scans and mobile uploads. Concorde decided that their existing tech was not scalable to meet their customer SLAs. They needed a new solution.

A scalable solution for secure document processing: collective intelligence

ScaleHub is able to process sensitive documents while offering accuracy, speed, and privacy through the use of collective intelligence, a strategic combination of AI and HI. And as a company originating in Germany, a country where GDPR regulations are paramount, ScaleHub is well familiar with the importance of data privacy.

There’s an adage that says: “Fast, good, or cheap: pick two.” ScaleHub offers all three. Here’s how:

Automation through the use of AI is effective, but there are some accuracy risks that are introduced when AI acts alone. This is where humans are brought into the loop. ScaleHub accesses a pool of more than 2,3 million crowd contributors for data extraction and validation, pushing the accuracy rate to over 99%.

But crucially, before any crowdsourcing takes place, the documents are broken down and separated into small bits of information called snippets. These completely anonymous data nuggets are deprived of any context that could jeopardize data privacy. And if, for some reason, sensitive data must be exposed, it can be sent to a specialized crowd, one with more specific skills (and data compliance certifications) to match the task.

For Concorde, it quickly became obvious that any data privacy concerns would be met and taken care of. As Luimbe Domingos points out, “The crowd is not seeing the entire document. They’re not even seeing the entire field. There were a lot of document types and different formats, and for (ScaleHub) to be able to process those into a pool that we could use, in the time that they did was really the deciding factor… No one else could do it like that for us.”

Learn more

Are data privacy concerns keeping you from profiting from utilizing services for more efficient document processing? Watch the webinar recording below for a deep dive into ScaleHub’s methods to ensure data privacy for secure, quick and accurate document processing. Or contact us directly to get started.


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