Data subject retention is collecting, storing, and managing data. Companies, organizations, and governments have policies, regulations, and laws that specify how and for how long data must be stored. Regulatory compliance, disaster recovery, and the need to feed analytic engines are factors that require data retention programs.
General Data Protection Regulation
In addition to government obligations for retaining data, a variety of industry-specific regulations exist, such as:
Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)
The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) mandates contractors and federal agencies to retain data for a minimum of three years.
National Energy Commission (NERC)
The NERC Rules of Procedure stipulate that bulk power system owners, operators, and users must adhere to data retention requirements through regional delegation agreements. For a compliance period ranging from three to six months, these businesses must keep data proving their adherence to NERC Reliability Standards.
The International Regulatory Framework for Banks (Basel III)
The Basel III data retention policies stipulate that banks must archive three to seven years of data history.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
To comply with SOX’s data backup period, relevant auditing of financial data and review documents must be kept for seven years following the conclusion of an audit or review of the financial statements.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPAA’s data retention periods apply to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers who electronically transfer any health information. They must maintain health information or medical records for a minimum of six years from their creation date.
National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM)
All government contractors that develop or work with sensitive information must comply with the NISPOM’s documented data retention policy. According to the NISPOM, classified material received or generated under a contract must be kept for two years unless otherwise ordered.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
PCI-DSS and its varied data regulatory requirements apply to every organization that accepts credit card payments. The organization can establish its own effective data retention policy template, but it must submit the required specific data collected for annual audits. The following guidelines pertain to email archiving.
Data Retention Best Practices
Any data retention program must begin with data classification. Classification should be codified in a retention schedule with explicit instructions for managing the lifespan of data, including:
- What type of data it is: public, personal data, restricted to internal use, confidential, or restricted.
- How long it must be stored
- Where the data should be stored and how secure it should be
- Which organization representatives can handle data management
Creating A Comprehensive Data Retention Policy
A data retention policy, also referred to as a records retention policy, is a set of guidelines used by companies to outline how all the data should be archived and for how long it should be maintained. The formulation of policies is governed by organizational, legal, and regulatory criteria. Own data retention policies typically include instructions on how records should be formatted and which devices or systems should be used as a data storage location.
Importance Of Data Processing, Data Privacy, And Data Destruction
Data retention regulations are essential since they specify how to deal with sensitive data subjects and data types that require retention. The directives outlined in the data retention obligations ensure compliance:
- Where information is kept
- How is the primary storage system utilized?
- How long are data stored?
- What occurs when data are no longer required?
- Facilitating adherence to internal, legal, and government regulations
Data Retention Period
Data retention requirements are the relevant provisions and legal requirements that specify that data must be kept in accordance with internal and external regulations. Depending on the organization and industry, time spans can range from three to ten years. After their purpose has been accomplished:
- Archived data
- Deleted data
- Anonymized data
Data Retention Policy Benefits
It is impossible to overestimate the benefits of well-crafted data retention laws. They consist of:
- Facilitating compliance with organizational, regulatory, and legal obligations
- Reducing storage expenses by removing outdated documents or relocating infrequently visited data to a less expensive storage tier
- Organizing business data so that it may be searched and retrieved easily and quickly
- Setting a data disposal policy ensures that unnecessary data is not stored or saved
- Automating data retention policy to eliminate manual retention processes
- Expediting backup of data and recovery through improved data organization and streamlining
Utilizing the proper tools to manage and protect data is the key to success. The correct implementation process of the data retention policy provides the processes and rules required to control risks, automate compliance, and reduce storage costs. By using content lifecycle management systems and other best practices, businesses may acquire control of their data for more efficient and safe operations.