Routine E-Mail Deletion: Update

This question was posted last November. "Our district IT staff would like to routinely delete stored E-mail that is more than one month old in order to free up storage space. I vaguely remember hearing that school districts may not do this, but they say I'm mistaken. Is this a good policy?"

At the time, I suggested that this was not a good idea. Since then, on December 1, 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect that specificallyrequire schools, businesses, and other agencies that are in litigation to produce electronic communications (e.g., E-mail and Instant Messages) if requested during the discovery process. This means that districts definitely need to set up some sort of archival process for these files and store them as long as required by state law.

You may download and read these amendments as a PDF file at EDUCAUSE .

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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