As more and more industries eliminate paper documents and move to digital, email volume in businesses across Australia has grown exponentially. Along with the fundamental problems of storing, securing and optimising data, legal and regulatory requirements have become a necessary consideration for all Australian businesses.
To further add to this confusion there is one more term, eDiscovery. If you are unsure on what this term entails and why your business needs it, stick around as we dive straight into the subject.
To put it simply, eDiscovery is the discovery of electronic records. It refers to the discovery process undertaken after the initiation of a legal action, for the most part. In this blog, we discuss how eDiscovery applies to email.
Electronically stored information incorporates any and every document that is not paper and is also intangible in form, volume, transcience and persistence. This information can be ivolved in any case of litigation.
Fines for email are matched to those for all other discoverable material. They carry the same value, weight and impact as any physical documents. Consider your electronic documents with same severity you consider paper contracts and letters.
Before proceeding to court, all parties must present relevant documents. Most businesses store a lot of important conversations in their emails, this means quick email discovery has become essential. It is especially necessary to avoid any of the heavy fines placed on those who are too slow to comply and hold up court proceedings.
You must locate a document that describes or explains a desired issue for it to count as evidence. If you find your organisation involved in litigation, the email discovery process will be invaluable in supporting your case. A good email archiving system makes it easy to filter out emails, radically speeding up your search.
Digital information needs to available for efficient and effective examination. Often times, requirements will be short and strict. This means organisations need retrievablility as the central criteria when archiving their emails. In the event of litigation you will be asked to retrieve information within a stringent legal time period. This makes it imperative to store data in an easily accessible central repository.
Individuals and Companies can be prosecuted in the event of a regulatory compliance breach. Australia has non-compliance penalties of up to $330,000 for companies and $60,000 or 5 years imprisonment for individuals. The individual penalty includes board directors.
Email Archiving Is Essential
Imagine for a second you are asked to produce all the emails between the Chief Marketing Officer and the VP of Research and Development. How would you start this search? And how long would it take to find all this information?
With no archiving system there is no simple solution.
- Backup tapes are not compliant with eDiscovery and most local PST file databases are chaotic.
- The data you need is located offline and there is very limited accessibility.
Legal requirements do not advise on the retention of data they merely stipulate that it is necessary. You need to decide on your organisation’s email retention policy and you need to enforce it. You could print out all the emails going in and out of your organisation but that would very quickly fill up the entire building.
The superior option is to take advantage of the benefits offered by the technological advancements in cloud computing. A cloud-based archive addresses all the above requirements and though there are other options like having your own data centre, a cloud-based archive offers the easiest, cost-effective and most efficient route.
With a cloud-based email archiving system:
- You can access your data around the clock and around the world. Location and time are irrelevant as an Internet connection is all you need to reach your archive. Dedicated professionals also run the facility around the clock so that you never need to worry about inaccessibility.
- Your data never has a physical “offline” copy but is instantly available in just a few seconds from a single repository with essentially unlimited storage capacity.
If you would like to learn more about eDiscovery and email compliance feel free to download our complimentary whitepaper on regulatory compliance in Australia by clicking on the link below.
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