18 Sep For CIOs, email deletion scandal shows need for email retention policy
Here in Boston, an email retention policy — or a lack thereof — is the juiciest news in town, as an email deletion scandal rocks City Hall in the face of next week’s mayoral primary.
Accusations that a top aide to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has routinely deleted emails in violation of state law have tripped up the mayor’s quest for a fifth term. The Massachusetts public records law requires municipal employees to keep emails for two years, regardless of “informational or evidential value.” There is also evidence that a judge warned the mayor about deleted emails last year, when it was discovered that employees in one agency were told to delete emails due to a lack of data storage space. The agency then bought email backup software but did not develop an email retention policy, according to the article in The Boston Globe.
In this case, defenders contend the aide’s practice of moving emails to his trash and emptying his recycle bin daily, or “double-deleting,” is consistent with the habits of a highly organized person. The aide assumed the emails were being backed up by City Hall servers.
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