Encryption of Diagnostic Disease Testing Reports

Date published: 04 February 2019

Area of Expertise:

Protecting personal data is important to AFBI and for this reason we are now encrypting our animal disease testing reports before sharing them with Veterinary Practices.

Why is AFBI using encryption for sending disease test reports?

Disease testing reports contain personal information of your clients (names and addresses) along with diagnostic test results which may potentially have an impact on their business if these are unlawfully or inadvertently accessed by those without authorisation. We take our data protection responsibilities seriously and strive to safeguard the personal data we process. Article 32 of the General Data Protection Regulation includes the use of encryption as an example of an appropriate measure to take to reduce the risk associated with processing personal data. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) gives guidance on the use of encryption and advises that it is a relatively low-cost measure to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR and ensure the reduction or avoidance of the damage and distress caused by unauthorised or unlawful access to personal data.

What does using encryption mean?

Encryption is a mathematical function that encodes data in such a way that only authorised users can access it. We will continue to send diagnostic disease testing reports by email, but the attached reports will be in an encrypted zipped folder which provides increased protection to the reports during transfer and if someone should gain unauthorised access to your email account. The reports within the folder will need to be extracted using appropriate software and a secure password before they can be opened. The password will be refreshed regularly and provided to you separately by email. You must keep this password secure and we advise that you fully delete the password email from your mailbox at the earliest opportunity.

When will this start?

The encryption is being rolled out to Private Veterinary Practices beginning Monday 4 Feburary 2019 with all clients to be receiving reports using encryption by 31 March 2019

You should have received an email or letter from us advising you of this change.

What do I need to do?

You will need to have the appropriate software installed on your PC and/or mobile device to allow you to decrypt the reports. You can then save these unencrypted versions to a secure location for future easy access. 

Please use the user guide below which will give you information on which software you will need, how to install it and how to use it to open the encrypted reports. This is dependent on your operating system. You may need to get your IT provider to do this for you. 

Encryption User Guide - opening encrypted files

What if I am having problems?

In the first instance, please make sure that you add our domain (*@afbini.gov.uk) to your whitelist or safe senders email list to stop the emails being rejected by your firewall or sent to spam folders.

Should you have any difficulties installing the encryption software or opening encrypted reports, please contact our IT Helpdesk on 028 9025 5664.

Please note, AFBI can only provide full support for operating systems that are still maintained by their developer. Operating systems which have reached end of life (such as Windows XP or iOS 5) will be supported on a “best endeavours” basis only.

The use of AFBI's diagnostic diease testing service is in accordance with our Sample Submission Terms & Conditions. 

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