As your firm embraces the Big Data trend, you may be subject to the various regulations regarding retaining old emails and other business data, but even if you’re not, every business should have email retention policies for business continuity and protection from litigation.
It’s generally not a good idea to retain emails, texts, and other business data forever, which, if you are doing nightly backups that include this information, may be exactly what you’re doing. Business records and other data may be subpoenaed as part of a criminal or civil complaint against your business.
If your business is required to have email or other data retention policies and procedures in place but does not, you are exposing yourself to the risk of an enforcement action involving monetary and other penalties. If you are in a health, finance or banking-related business, you should particularly be aware that you may be covered by email retention regulations.
Relevant rules dealing with email retention may come from the following regulations:
- SEC Rule 17a
- NASD Rule 3010
- Graham Leach Bliley
- Telecommunications Title 47, Part 42
- OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency)
- FDA–Title 21, Part 11
- DOD–5015.2 standard
- FERC (CFR TITLE 18)
- State legislation such as the Florida Sunshine Act
Here are more details on these regulations.
Recent surveys state that more than 90 percent of all documents produced since 1999 were created in digital form. In 2000, 83 percent of American Bar Association attorneys responding to a survey said that their corporate clients had no established procedures to deal with electronic discovery. Even more disturbing, more than half of office-based employees say their companies don’t have written policies on data retention or personal use of work devices, or if they do, they aren’t aware of them.
Not having data retention policies and capabilities today may place a corporation outside established practice, and that could expose your business to legal claims regarding negligence (We are not lawyers; always seek legal counsel for information regarding your business’ legal matters).
Whatever the size of your business, data management is an important challenge. Is your business in the position to produce email evidence for discovery without a time-consuming and expensive effort? Are you archiving nothing, some email, or all email? Which is the best strategy for your business, given its needs for continuity (Joe leaves; Susan must take his place), regulatory compliance (SEC rules require retention of some emails for six years), and responsiveness to litigation discovery?
StratVantage can help
StratVantage’s resources are knowledgeable about email and other data retention policies, procedures, and systems. We can help you determine applicable regulations and design systems and solutions to meet your business’ obligations.
We’ve worked with companies of all sizes, from the Fortune 15 to startups. Our email retention resources stand ready to help your company whenever and wherever you want them. Contact us today to see how your company can master technology and turn it into a competitive advantage.
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