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| 1 minute read

Cleaning Up Your Data in 2023

As the air filter guy once preached, “you can pay me now, or pay me later.” A little attention to information governance in 2023 can pay big dividends in the form of risk reduction and cost savings—just ask any e-discovery lawyer!  

For starters, make sure your company is litigation ready, with legal hold processes and procedures that allow for quick and effective implementations of legal holds and avoid inadvertent deletion of data subject to those holds. Litigation readiness, however, goes much further than legal holds. It includes knowing where your data is, keeping it as long as needed for business needs and legal compliance, and then eliminating data that has served its purpose and is no longer subject to any legal hold. This practice will significantly reduce future e-discovery costs because those costs are directly correlated with how much data you have retained in the first place. Any of that data may be subject to preservation, search, and collection when litigation or an investigation arises or is anticipated. Even when using the latest technology, like TAR, costs go way up when the volume of data is high. Avoiding excessive retention of obsolete data, some of which undoubtedly includes sensitive information or personal information of individuals, also reduces data breach risks and risks of non-compliance with privacy laws—including the new state privacy laws effective in 2023!

So what is the three-step plan to better “data hygiene”? First, know your data—where it is, what it is, and what is confidential. An up-to-date data map or inventory can help you there. Second, know what you need to keep and for how long. An updated record retention policy and schedule, along with other updated policies covering electronic communications and legal holds, are essential. Don’t overlook the need for regular employee training on your data retention, electronic communications, and data privacy policies. Third, regularly remediate obsolete data with assistance from technology, and perform your due diligence to avoid losing anything subject to a hold. If your company has not been down this road before, get advice from counselors who have.

Make a New Year’s resolution now to update your company’s retention policies and practices before it’s too late!

Tags

ediscovery, information governance, legal holds, litigation readiness, retention policies, tar, record retention, data remediation, data map, data inventory, e-discovery

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