Tough stance on e-mail compliance PDF Print E-mail
New regulations on the horizon will change the way companies view their e-mail records.

New legislation will be forcing companies to retain e-mails as a legal record, and companies which do not comply, will be faced with hefty fines.

John Giles, partner at Michalsons attorneys, says: “The Protection of Personal Information Bill, due in March, will have an impact in the way businesses protect confidential information.  This is going to have a big impact on e-mail because it processes personal information.

“The law requires companies to retain invoices and if that invoice is in an e-mail or attached to an email; the email needs to be retained, and a lot of companies are not doing that.”

According to Giles, by managing e-mails properly, companies will be able to automatically migrate their e-mails to other storage media; making their e-mail servers more efficient and boosting productivity. In addition, companies can make their e-mail system serve as an organisational knowledge store, allowing users to mine data.

Tough legislation

Giles claims that under King III, the board is responsible for the company`s compliance with e-mail laws. He says that the board should ensure that the company implements an effective compliance framework and processes to ensure compliance with e-mail laws.

Giles notes that many companies are concluding agreements on e-mail, without even knowing it. He suggests that organisations tend to take a slack approach over e-mail, with a perception that a paper record is more legally binding than an e-mail, but this is not always the case.

“People aren`t aware that you can conclude an important binding contract via e-mail,” says Giles, “In order to manage business risks effectively, you need to know the rules of the game. In order to perform effectively, a business needs to know what the laws are.”

Improving compliance

Jay Bradley, managing director of the ProData Group, says that ProData recently rolled out its Mirapoint appliance-based product which addresses the challenges around e-mail archiving.

According to Bradley, Mirapoint controls 33% of the e-mail archival appliance world market: “Acquiring the distribution of Mirapoint was a natural progression for us to drive an e-mail archiving platform. Mirapoint allows people to do what they are supposed instead of spending a lot of their day managing email.

“We`ve been looking at the archive space for the last four to five years, and trying to advise our customers and resellers about the legal implications around e-mail archiving, and people are becoming more aware.”

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