Understanding Email Archiving Retention Policies

June 26, 2017 by Jatheon

Not sure which emails to retain, and for how long? Let’s go over the different factors that can influence retention policies.

The IT department can influence the development of the retention policy by advocating legal input and providing technical guidance. When it comes to retention periods, the IT department can also draw on areas such as regulatory policies and mandates, as well as risk mitigation best practices.

Factors in External Mandates

Compliance mandates can range from strict laws outlining specific time periods to broader laws or certification requirements. Segments of the financial industry, healthcare, education and government are very strictly regulated. If your organization belongs to a heavily regulated industry, it is essential to learn which regulations cover your area and which laws apply to your particular situation.

Non-specific mandates also exist. They require the enterprise to develop policies around certain documents and to demonstrate adherence to certification requirements and professional guidelines.

Factors in Privacy Laws

Regional differences in privacy laws have to be taken into account when developing an email retention policy. In North America, the courts tend to see employee email as the property of the enterprise. This is because the messages were created, stored on and retrieved from enterprise systems. In Europe, however, courts treat email as the property of the sender alone, which creates roadblocks when enterprises wish to read, keep, or act on information contained in an email.

Employment records should be kept while employees are in the company, plus 7 years afterward. Click To Tweet

What Are Statutes of Limitation

It’s important to consider how much time can pass before an enterprise faces a lawsuit regarding data retention. For example, employment records and manuals should be stored for the length of the employee’s stay in the company, plus additional 7 years. This includes email relevant to the employee and their HR issues.

For more information about email archiving and retention, download our whitepaper “Email Archiving – Simple Steps to Compliance” by clicking on the image below.

Download free whitepaper - Simple Steps To Compliance

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