SMS, mail and WhatsApp: archiving must!

Prime Minister Mark Rutte had a hard time of it in recent months. For the past few years (and who knows how much longer), he made his own choice in which text messages to keep and which not to keep. In early October, it became clear that things should have been different In this blog, we take a closer look.

In any case, Rutte previously ignored the central government’s handbook on retaining instant messages. This states exactly which messages should be kept. The common questions are: is it private or is it business? Does the message relate to political governance? And is the message perhaps already stored somewhere else? Depending on the answers to these questions, it is clear that a message should “just be kept. The question of private or business is also very clear: it couldn’t be more unambiguous. SMS, e-mail, WhatsApp or any digital data traffic: based on the questions above, it should just be kept. That includes Mark Rutte, which is why he was knocked back by the Government Information and Heritage Inspectorate in early October.

Laws and regulations

On a broader note, email archiving must be in order by the end of the year. Emails containing business or administrative information must be archived, and the rules and laws apply here as well. Moreover, these rules and laws are by no means new, yet they are occasionally trampled on. Previously, we wrote a blog about missing SMSs from the Danish prime minister about the zombienertsen. Domestically, the municipality of Almere had some explaining to do last year. In Almere, administrative emails from mayor and aldermen were not kept because it would be too expensive. Thus, this data disappeared over a period of 13 years. As a business owner, imagine throwing away all paid invoices because storing them makes your PC slower. The IRS would not pick up on that, which makes sense.

Good infrastructure needed

It is clear: organizations, companies and governments must comply on these issues. That requires a good data infrastructure. Different retention periods apply to different communication types, content and who participates in the communication. You have to have the hardware, software and infrastructure to comply with the law. So the “too expensive” or “irrelevant” argument then does not apply. The rules also apply to people with cheap, old-fashioned phones. By the way, we are happy to explain how you can archive this data just fine in a safe and reliable way. Please feel free to contact us!

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