Whitepaper provides guidance for avoiding legal risks of email archiving
Contributed by Charles Nguyen
(Donnerstag, 18 November 2010) |
Email litigation and compliance
Email is far and away the business communication medium of choice. Global estimates put the number of emails at 247 million per day with enterprise users accounting for about a quarter of that total.
The email flood has shown no signs of slowing as Forbes reports enterprise users combine to produce 60 million messages each day.
With all those jam-packed inboxes on their systems, it's important for companies to understand the importance of email archiving and practice good retention policies to avoid facing fines and sanctions associated with email management regulations and potential eDiscovery requests. Helping companies in the UK do both is the focus of a new whitepaper from Messaging Architects, a global leader in email solutions and an email risk management expert.
Authored by renowned expert Stewart Room, UK Email Retention Policies: Guidance on Legal Obligations for the Public and Private Sectors demonstrates the importance of focusing efforts on effective retention policies and highlights the risks associated with poor email archiving. Room advises IT companies on IT law, is the author of three books and leads the UK Cybersecurity Challenge.
"Failing to deal with email in a constructive sense is not an option in law; rather, it is a dereliction of legal duty," Room said. "We hope this whitepaper will cast light as to what steps organizations can take to ensure proper preservation and management of email."
The whitepaper identifies the needs for email archiving of all companies and organizations in the UK's public and private sectors. It also addresses email regulatory compliance covered under the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act, the Companies Act and the Financial Services and Markets Act, among others. Legal mandates for emails derived from criminal and civil litigation are also explored.
Furthermore, it identifies ramifications companies may face for improperly archiving, retaining and retrieving email and other electronically stored information. Messaging Architects also points out how the approach of "deleting everything" fails to comply with numerous legal mandates in both the public and private sector. Such an approach leaves companies vulnerable to penalties noted in the whitepaper.
The whitepaper also recognizes the difficulties companies face in archiving mountains of emails. Namely, it focuses on means for dealing with different, and sometimes conflicting standards, that stretch across geographical and industrial borders.
"Unfortunately, the law is in a fragmented state, spread across hundreds of statutes, thousands of statutory instruments and countless pieces of regulatory guidance, standards for best practice and case law. 'Pulling it all together' is beyond the scope of most organizations. But, organizations are expected to meet their legal obligations," according to Messaging Architects.
Still, the task is not impossible. Drafting, implementing and enforcing effective email archiving solutions and policies ensures companies are prepared for eDiscovery requests, litigation holds and proper case management. This means identifying information important to impending litigation, making sure it is stored for easy retrieval and setting a retention schedule so that old or non-important data can be destroyed and kept from bogging down the system.
Through collaboration across a number of departments and education of the workforce, a company can almost guarantee it complies with regulation and is prepared for eDiscovery.
ESI covered under data retention requirements and eDiscovery requests continues to broaden as companies produce more information. This, in turn, forces companies to invest more time, money and effort in preparing for litigation. Respondents to the annual Socha-Gelbman Electronic Discovery Survey estimated the eDiscovery market will grow 10 to 15 percent both this year and next.