Social Media Records Retention and eDiscovery

Posted by admin on Apr 13, 2009 4:53:00 AM

There is a good article in Information Week outlining how the US Federal Government is struggling with Social Media Records Retention Policies. My first thought was, can eDiscovery issues be far behind? It is interesting that the article goes on to say

 "one keynote speaker asked the crowd of several hundred how many of the archivists in attendance were sold on the use of social media. Only a smattering raised their hands." This is an interesting contrast to the current Obama administration that has clearly embraced social media both in the run up to the White House and now while in the White House.

For anybody struggling with the implications of the adoption of new media technologies, the United States National Archives' Implications of Recent Web Technologies for NARA Web Guidance is a good starting point. It outlines some of the basic records management implications associated to new media types such as wikis, blogs, and microblogs.

Open Text, along with Loeb & Loeb, recently produced a webinar called eDiscovery, Information and Records Management in a Web 2.0 World, where we explore more of the issues and legal precedent surrounding discovery of content that is outside the bounds of what the legal community has traditionally thought of as documents. I think that if I were to try and take two things away from the webinar, it might be:

  1. It is the content, not the media the media that drives content classification, retention, and disposition. The best practices and policies that are slowly being adopted in Enterprises around email can be used to evaluate the use of new social media applications as well.
  2. Don't wait for a problem to arise. Get out in front of the adoption of social media applications within your enterprise to develop policies for acceptable use, retention and disposition and eDiscovery. Developing the policies will provide the ability to evaluate new Social Media applications to understand if they are right for your organization.

(AIIM, Information Zen Blog)