Retention Policies and When to Use Them

Destroying evidence – Intentional or Accidental

Retention policies is an area that every company struggles with. In my business relating to email I typically see simple policies such as 7 years to keeping emails forever. The courts are always ruling on this and the trend has been around consistency, whatever that Email Retentionmight be.

Many companies try to implement complicated rules that work in the paper world, but not in the email world. The challenge with emails is that I keep one employee for 7 years and another forever but since they both communicate how to define the policy ? I have a potential account that wanted end users to manually decide what emails to keep. Sure, it’s possible but very challenging to manage because lets’ face, most would classify them into different buckets. What if someone never does it and the person they email the most is very diligent ?

Court Case

Here’s a recent court case that talks about spoliation or deleting evidence:

http://www.ediscoverylaw.com/2013/09/magistrate-judge-declines-to-presume-prejudice-recommends-denial-of-motion-for-sanctions/

How to measure “on purpose” deletion vs merely neglect ? I can only imagine the challenges from a legal perspective. Regardless, imagine this is your company – how embarrassing would this be to get into the news ?

 

Email Retention Management

We recommend a simple policy that in the Exchange world eliminates archive PST files (because they are out of control typically) and very hard to put a retention against. Keep whatever you decide on the Exchange server then manage the archive appropriately. It’s not the policy but making sure you follow the policy that will keep you out of trouble.