Anyone who has worked for a large company has heard of email quotas. These are set up to manage the amount of data an employee uses for email and to control email archiving requirements. It can be a real pain to to decide which emails can be deleted as a result. However, a business can face legal problems if it relies on staff members retaining the right emails and only deleting unimportant messages.
Many employees simply delete everything from a certain time period when they reach their quota, without giving any thought as to how an email might be needed in the future. It’s easy to do and it often seems like a logical decision to make.
However, when it comes to email evidence needed for eDiscovery purposes, you have to hope that an important email hasn’t been deleted when it’s needed. This is not a safe way to work, hence the need for an email archiver to let you search all records with ease, regardless of whether an email has been deleted from an employee’s inbox.
Email archiving prevents any emails from being permanently deleted, so you are prepared to use any emails for legal evidence when required.
Email can be used as evidence in the following circumstances:
Proof of knowledge or involvement
An address in the ‘to’ section of an email can sometimes be enough to signal any wrongdoing. In a lawsuit that is aimed at ascertaining an employee’s culpability, evidence that an email has been received can be enough to cast any legal doubts.
At the same time, if there is no proof an email was received, it could exonerate said employee. If there is no defined strategy on email retention, you basically have no control over what emails are kept or deleted.
Email can be used to provide important background or context to a legal matter. Most emails can are useful as even a simple-sentence message can demonstrate the type of relationship certain employees have with each other.
This type of background information could be crucial in a legal case, but without an email archiver, the chances of retaining an important email come down to pure luck. Not really the best way to retain emails, is it?
Some lawsuits only rely on email evidence. If someone has been making inappropriate comments over email or bullying another member of staff, an email can be used as a key piece of evidence in a discrimination case or employment tribunal. For an email to be used as evidence, it either needs to be in an email archive or retained within an inbox. Without the archive, the perpetrator can easily delete any offending email communications before they are discovered, essentially getting away with a crime.
In any of these situations, the main risk is that an important email can be deleted and destroyed. Without an email archive, you can’t guarantee that important emails will be retained when you need them.
Is this a risk you are willing to take?