Defensible Deletion

The act of the disposal of data from within an organization has become increasingly important over time. The rate at which organizations create data is still accelerating, and at a faster rate than the cost of storage is coming down. The requirement for organizations to manage their records and implement retention schedules to comply with either business or regulatory needs is becoming more specific, and when this goes awry the consequences are becoming more punitive. Legal holds and the general threat of litigation further compound the complexity surrounding the deletion of company data. As a result the term defensible deletion has emerged, and it is generally used to describe a process whereby the deletion of data can take place against an already implemented information governance program following a set of procedures that will be able to demonstrate to any demanding party that the data being deleted need not have been held for either business, regulatory or legal reasons. An organizational Data Map can be constructed to identify all the key organizations information assets and retention periods can be customized based on departmental needs.

To implement a defensible deletion program is good sense. The advantages are many in that risks and liabilities are mitigated, storage and production costs for managing data are reduced. The timing of such programs is important, if data has no use or value then why wait for that same data to potentially become discoverable if litigated against? It can only push the cost of litigation up.

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