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Subject: Re: Microsoft's 'Self destructing e-mail'
From: Hugh Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 27 Oct 2003 00:18:34 -0500

text/plain (66 lines)

Snips from Laurie:

On Sunday, October 26, 2003, at 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor

> The ability for the sender to decide that an email can be destroyed
> after a certain period of time is against all the principles we [the RM
> & IM profession] have been trying to address since the mass
> introduction
> of the PC and probably before this time.
> This ability in Office 2003 to stop the printing, copying, resending
> and
> to set a timeframe for the destruction of the email could be a bigger
> disaster to good governance at all levels of corporate and government
> organisations than any previous event.
> In my humble opinion this email destruction feature being promoted by
> Microsoft in its Office 2003 product has the potential to cause greater
> harm than all of the resent abuses combined with the illegal
> destruction
> of organisational data.
> My 20 cents worth.
> Laurie
> Mr Daniel Lawrance [Laurie] Varendorff, ARMA


I see nothing wrong with what Microsoft has offered here. It is simply
mechanized records management. You set a 30 day or 60 day retention
cycle and the system enforces it. If something truly is of records
value then copy it and put it in a document that is set to a different
retention period.

Microsoft is not trying to be a Archivist, they are assisting in
records management. This allows a corporation to keep track of what is
real and what is not. To eliminate this feature is to try to make a car
have a horse pull it around because we value the horse.

A company should be allowed to set a retention cycle and enforce it.
What it cannot do is stop some goof ball from sending a thoughtless
email that has no bearing on the real corporate practice. For example a
company can have a great equal opportunity program but one racist in an
organization, or one male chauvinist or what ever;  can send one email
and now the corporation has this floating around for decades in their
data base as an example of their insensitivity. So now you are paying
an attorney $200.00 per hour doing hundreds of hours of research to
show that this one guy is the exception and not the norm. Microsoft's
retention schedule capability allows this guys stuff to be destroyed
rather than saved for all eternity.

As I sit here staring at 1670 emails in my system I am thinking that
this is a good thing.

Hugh Smith
FIRELOCK Fireproof Modular Vaults
hsmith @[log in to unmask]
(610)  756-4440    Fax (610)  756-4134

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