Originating Author: PBurris
The availability of free, web-based, consumer email services forces firms to complement efforts to implement the right mix of email archiving technology with the perfect mix of end-user education. Use of internal email systems can be monitored to verify that guidelines are being followed. However, users increasingly can circumvent an organization’s email dictates by using 3rd-party email services like gmail, yahoo, etc, to conduct company business. It’s clear that the courts expect firms to be able to access and provide copies of any digital communication conducted in support of business. It’s not clear if the courts will relax this expectation simply because a business document was created and distributed over a 3rd-party mail system.
Action Item: Email governance policies must include use of 3rd-party email systems, with special efforts made to determine the risk to the firm posed by 3rd-party email provider archiving practices.