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Defensible Deletion – To Delete or not to Delete – that is the Question.

Defensible Deletion- To Delete or not to Delete – that is the Question.

As Hamlet mused famously, centuries ago, so too do we ruminate today on the question of value – whether it concerns the value of human existence or the value of information and data storage to corporations. Modern technology has enabled us to store anything and everything ever written, any business transaction ever completed and the daily minutiae (even non-essential emails) of business, whether they may later prove relevant or not. This begs the eDiscovery question – what and when can one delete content from storage? With some estimates placing as much as 70% of stored data as superfluous, what is “defensible deletion.”

 Defensible Deletion


For our purposes we look to the United States. Long considered to be one of the more litigious nations, U.S. standards of defensible deletion may differ from the rest of the world but with many companies operating as multinationals (and cross border litigation on the rise) it makes sense to look to the US courts for their opinion on defensible deletion. Recent rulings have “determined that (a) companies’ routine, automated, and good-faith information management (and deletion) strategies trumped the requirement to “save everything forever.” Of equal importance, these courts further narrowed the questionable window of when companies must preserve information.”  What these rulings suggest is that it is OK to delete information as long as you employ a systematic, neutral and universally applied system. 

How do you do that? Employing the services of an Integrated Information Management Software vendor will help your organization steer the course toward legally defensible data deletion.  Experts at Information Management and Governance, let these consultants, who have familiarity with the various laws, Acts and requirements, guide your actions and install software tools that make the task easier.  Defensible deletion, when applied systematically and universally, as part of your eDisclosure policy will also save you both time and money.  By determining ahead of time what “to delete or not to delete” such decisions will impact your hardware and infrastructure requirements, saving you backup and manpower costs and will ensure an eDiscovery process (should it prove necessary) is easier to manage and any information retrieval proves less cumbersome.   After all, do we really want to read Shakespeare’s earlier, perhaps less profound, draft copies of Hamlet? Use your information management software tools wisely and only the relevant data will be stored while still maintaining a legally defensible position for your firm. That is the answer to the question!

Please share this information with your colleagues or send us your questions, comments and feedback to: Additionally, you can find more resources on our web site  at  or  e-Mail Management and eDiscovery | Information Governance . We look forward to answering any questions you may have; please contact us at 1 (800) 263-8733


Defensible Deletion- To Delete or not to Delete – that is the Question.

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