Retained Records on Non-paper Media
The risks of retaining records for longer than legally necessary
applies to non-paper controlled records. And, while space
limitations provide some impetus to occasional dispose of paper
records that is far less true for records stored on magnetic tape
or microfilm, and electronically stored records. Records on these
more compact and emerging media formats are susceptible to the
risks described above. In fact, the risks associated with retaining
electronic records for longer than legally or functionally required
are more acute.
First, as electronic records, they are susceptible to hacking;
retaining electronic records longer than required increases the
amount of electronic information to protect. Being that most
retained records are inactive, it also means those safeguards are
more likely to be neglected or allowed to degrade.
Second, while electronic records may be easier and more
economical to review during legal discovery, they are easily found.
Electronic records which might have been appropriate destroyed
years earlier are now unearthed and subject to legal scrutiny and
DISPOSITION OF DUPLICATE RECORDS
A duplicate record is either a copy of a controlled record or contains
the same information as a controlled record. The redundant
document (or information) is created and kept separate for
various reasons, including ease of access, protection from loss, or
when someone believes having it might protect or defend them
if need be. A duplicate record is not subject to an organization’s
information management or retention program, which is why it
poses a threat.
As discussed above, one of the expectations and benefits of
complying with records retention schedule is that the amount
of information subject to legal discovery is limited. In the event
records are appropriately destroyed as dictated by a sound records
retention schedule, they are obviously not available for discovery
and their absence easily explained and legally appropriate.
However, if a retained record is properly destroyed per an
organization’s documented retention schedule, but a duplicate
copy of that record still exists, it is subject to legal discovery.
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