Our data retention schedules include all legal and regulatory rules which prescribe or inspire the storage and deletion of data or records. We call them “retention obligations” (although not all of them technically count as such, please see below). A retention obligation can follow from the law, subsidiary legislations (decrees, ordinances, orders etc) or regulatory guidance. As a general rule we look at guidance from competent data protection, financial, telecoms regulatory authorities.
A retention obligation equals one row in our MS Excels spreadsheets or API database. You can see an example of this on the left hand side.
We do not distinguish between “data retention” and “records retention”. Why? Because in a digital world legislatures and regulatory authorities care less and less about this distinction to be honest. Governments have the tendency to talk about data, information, records, registers, inventories, books and any other synonym you can think of. As a general rule we take that governments around the world want you to keep “information” regardless of its form so that they can exercise their regulatory powers and investigate compliance with rules. Such rules can apply to records in the old fashioned sense (printed paper) or the more modern version (a MS Word file) as well as data fields in a database. We appreciate that when it comes to managing retention obligations there are huge differences between “digital records” vs “hardcopy records” and “structured data” vs “unstructured data”. And although filerskeepers cares dearly about these differences, applicable law usually does not.
Our services start by knowing the law, and this is what we include in our data retention schedules. And when we know the law we can start building. For more information on add-on services please go to our pricing page. For more information on records retention please go to our FAQ page.