Well you don’t have to care. It is just that your client, supplier, book keeper, accountant, lawyer, notary, controller, auditor and many governmental officials care. there are literally thousands of retention rules that require you to keep or destroy records. It is a matter of good corporate housekeeping. If you know what to keep and what to throw out you will be more in control. You will also run a smaller risk of trouble.
What would you tell the German tax auditor if you fail to keep your tax records for 10 years? Of what do you tell the Irish Data Protection Commissioner if you decided to store recruitment data for 5 years? Are you going to tell your customer that you accidentally deleted the contract?
Or let’s say it in bullets, breaking retention rules could lead to:
- Statutory fines and penalties (some being criminal in nature);
- Legal actions and a risk of forced settlement resulting because of the cost of compliance with e-discovery requests for old emails or other documents;
- Lost cases resulting from absent email and other business records (yes there is caselaw); and
- Business losses from an insufficient archiving and recovery process.
To us data retention is a very smart thing to do. Something to care about. A life saver in moments of truth, when it becomes bet the company. Because, well you know, filers… keepers…
Want some proof? Please read this whitepaper: https://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/compliance/requirements-record-keeping-document-destruction-digital-world-2063