A practical guide to implementing a data retention policy
drs. J. Blaauw en Y. Ajibade Msc*
Every organization processes1 data for different reasons and in different ways. In a data driven world, an organization largely depends on the data it has and uses.2 Part of fruitful processing data is making sure that you know when data must be kept and when it must be removed. Data3 is subject to different data retention periods, which may vary per country and/or industry. As a result, thousands of retention rules require you to either keep
or destroy data and it is challenging to get advice on this topic. Implementing a data retention policy will help organizations to be in control of their data and it will reduce the risk of being non-compliant with laws and regulation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).4 Properly implementing such a policy takes effort, commitment and management support. As a bonus, up-to-date and relevant data increases the value of your organization. This article offers a helping hand to organizations that are in various stages of implementing a data retention policy. In the first part of this article, we will focus on the legal framework. Here we will zoom in on the complexity of various rules and regulations. In the second part, we outline eight steps to build a solid data retention policy. We will conclude by looking at the creation and implementation of a data retention policy through real-life examples and insights.
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