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Data lifecycle Mis-management

There are basically 2 types of case study: one concentrates on what you should do and the other focuses on what you shouldn’t. In terms of News International’s data management behaviour, this is strictly located in the latter. The story as it currently stands is a little vague, but it is reasonable to assume that some of the details will come to light over the coming weeks and months.

It appears that News International had an archive of its emails: a very sensible policy, particularly for an organisation that is at the cutting edge of journalism and may have to justify and evidence its actions at short notice. This counts for nothing unless the data contained within the archive is managed properly.

This seems to be key point in this story. Archiving is of no use from a compliance perspective unless proper data lifecycle management is followed. Data management should be a dynamic process: from the time an email enters the organisation to the point of deletion, it should be carefully managed within a highly visible process. Deletions should occur (if at all) after a number of years as dictated by the compliance and regulatory needs of the industry, not at the whim of an individual.

Do we know for a fact that something dodgy or illegal was going on when someone in News International demanded the mass deletion of emails? Certainly not, but the suspicion of a crime could have been averted by simply following best practice in data lifecycle management. It’s not as though News Int haven’t got enough to worry about at the moment…

Read the current state of affairs from the BBC, here.

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