Companies fail to renew ESI and document retention policies
UK companies are failing to review their policies regarding document retention and electronically stored information (ESI), exposing them to potential liabilities in respect to their ability to cope with with data disclosure obligations and litigation processes.
Key findings of the ‘Third Annual ESI Trends Report’, commissioned by Kroll Ontrack, reveal that only 41 per cent of businesses questioned claimed to have revisited their policies in the last 12 months with regard to mobile devices, and just 35 per cent have done so with respect to social networking sites.
Only 32 per cent of companies polled, the report says, have revised their policies regarding instant messaging, and 26 per cent have reviewed their policies with the advent of emerging data storage technologies like virtualisation and Cloud Computing.
The ‘Third Annual ESI Trends Report’ research undertaken by Research Plus in the UK and the US between 15th June and 22nd July 2009. Interviews were carried out with 230 companies in the UK, and 231 in the US.
“The technologies employed by companies are varied and complex, and consequently demand rigorous corporate policies regarding their use,” insists Kroll Ontrack UK managing director Martin Carey. “Mobile devices, for example, have rapidly expanded the potential for working remotely, but some companies continue to rely on policies drafted prior to their introduction The requirement to disclose electronically stored information during the litigation process is affecting more businesses than ever before.”
If policies are not updated, Carey adds, these companies could be “placed at a severe disadvantage, with a real risk of serious financial loss”.