Information Must Be Destroyed

February 25, 2009

Another ComputerWorld story caught my attention. This one is the work of Ben Rothke. Either he or his editor came up with an interesting headline: “Why Information Must Be Destroyed” here. When I hear about a Draconian action that could endanger my cybergoose life, I twitch my feathers. Partly in fear. Partly in annoyance. If we live in an information age, nuking zeros and ones strikes me as an interesting notion. I was not aware that information could be destroyed. Once I know something under this mandate, the way to get rid of the information is to put this goose in the roaster. Not a happy thought for the goose in my opinion.

Mr. Rothke, like other fun loving ComputerWorld scribes, wrote about deleting data in an organization. He acknowledged that there are rules and regulations about information. He noted that paying a fine for destroying information might be preferable to a perp walk. After I worked my way through the seven part article, I reread my notes; to wit:

  • I think that organizations need to obtain legal counsel about what to keep and what methods to follow
  • The notion of mixing records management, eDiscovery, and mandated information retention may benefit from a requirements analysis
  • In a bad economy, litigation can be troublesome. Government inquiries can be troublesome. Disgruntled employees releasing information can be troublesome.

A concerned manager will want to use the ComputerWorld write up as a thought starter, not a road map. Destroy information? Well, you need to make sure you get it all and button up anyone who knows the information. There are many ways to qualify for a perp walk. The ComputerWorld article sidesteps some of the more interesting facets of destroying information. The task is easier said than done in my experience.

Stephen Arnold, February 25, 2009


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