Electronic correspondence

The legal status of electronic correspondence is evolving.

Today almost all correspondence in the business environment is digital. The handling and storage of electronic correspondence is governed by exactly the same regulations as other digital data. In addition, in many countries there is also specific legislation governing the handling of electronic correspondence.

e-Discovery

The e-Discovery legislation in the United States regulates the use of digital information in court. All data can be used as evidence - including emails and even instant chat messaging. Important is that the quality of the data can be verified. This means that all data should be archived correctly, made edit-proof and information should be disposed of after the relevant mandated retention period. Data such as emails must be made available to the court when requested. Failure to produce emails as evidence can lead to further legal consequences or even the loss of the court case.

Electronic correspondence - a time bomb!

The filing and archiving of correspondence in companies has proved to be particularly difficult. Only around 20% of communication between companies is sent by post. By far the larger percentage of communication is sent electronically. Estimates of the amount of correspondence already sent by email range from 70-80%. In 90 percent of companies there are no concrete rules for the filing of emails and the information that they contain (both in the body of the email and in the attachments).

In many companies/organizations email systems were introduced without any accompanying systems of organization. This has lead to the development of significant problems:

  • No rules for filing emails that have more than one recipient
  • No control over where emails are stored
  • No structured or central filing place
  • Main criteria for filing is whether or not there is available storage space
  • When all available disc space is used, emails either get automatically deleted or the user is prompted to move and store ‘somehow’
  • Use of the email server as a long term data storage unit, even though it was not designed for it 

The realization of central and secured email storage

Attempts to save emails automatically do not offer a solution to this problem. Let’s take an example: quite often people use 'old emails' with a wildly different subject to save time typing in the email address. How can such an email be automatically classified and accordingly stored? What’s more, emails often contain several different subject-matters, meaning one email might need to be accessed from more than one location.

The storage of emails in FILERO is not only legally compliant, but contributes to an improvement of know-how and information flow. Archiving emails is not just a tedious obligation: it will increase efficiency and motivate staff.

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