Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New report on I.T. retention policies available

Tom Olzak and Debra Littlejohn Shinder have authored a PDF paper “IT Leaders: Prepare for E-Discovery Requests: How to Avoid Disastrous Legal Sanctions and Fines,” a “Tech Republic Special Report.” The PDF is “entertaining”: it is well illustrated with lots of pictures and charts, but Adobe reader processes it very slowly.

There were amendments made in December 2006 to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) that are important.

A significant concept in the paper is the idea of a detailed document retention policy, integrated fully with the organization’s systems. Discovery requests will include a copy of the company policy. There has been controversy (and variable advice) in a number of organizations (especially since Y2K) as to how long employees should be encouraged to keep their own correspondence, but it seems likely that companies will have to enforce uniform policies much more strictly. In the past, companies have sometimes told employees that should not retain correspondence longer than necessary Content Monitoring and Filtering (CMF) can be a significant issue.

Another potential issue, especially in view of recent incidents of consumer data loss from large organizations, could be employee retention of their test results, especially if based on copies of production databases.

The link for the download (published Tuesday Sept. 9) is here. You need to be a registered Tech Republic user to download it.

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