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DMware: Documents as Evidence

Over the years, the AIIM International sponsorship of standards has included fostering of committee C22 on Evidentiary Support for Electronic Information.  I just learned that C22, which is tied to ISO TC171/SC3, is being rebooted.  I confess that I lost track of this work and I'm heartened to see announcement of its rejuvenation:

Why Comply with Standards

When you join the AIIM C22 Evidentiary Support Standards Committee, you'll play a pivotal role in the creation of new standards for the legal admissibility of electronic documents in courts across the country.

Led by Co-Chairs Bob Williams and Paul Doyle, the committee deals with law and IT in relation to enterprise information management, with particular focus on information as evidence... for or against the enterprise.

About a quarter of our stakeholders are attorneys who are conversant with IT. The rest of us are mostly IT people who are conversant with legal issues, legal thinking, and the nature and practice of law. We are focused on enterprise business activities that are conducted electronically. Our committee is trying to stay even with - and, if possible, ahead of - the technology curve, in order to advise IT designers on strategies for making e-records  trustworthy in the eyes of the law. We also work on strategies for enterprises trying to identify and dispose of unwanted electronic information.

We concentrate on evidentiary considerations for the design of e-business systems, on the retrieval of information in discovery, on the erasure of information that the enterprise does not want to hold, and on intellectual property considerations in the management of electronic information.

The work of AIIM C22 is substantive, intellectually challenging and its influence is wide-ranging.  We invite you to join us.

Send your contact information to standards@aiim.org and copy C22 committee member Paul Doyle, at paul@proofspace.com so that we can add you to the C22 e-mail list.  There you'll learn about upcoming meetings and ongoing projects in which you can get involved.

For further information and general interest in the focus of AIIM-supported standards activity, visit the AIIM Standards page.  There is also an AIIM Standards Watch blog. 

Although the evidentiary nature and use of electronic information, including documents and source code, is not the most exciting thing for Information Technology organizations to be concerned about, understanding the importance and the risks of how electronic information is managed is becoming increasingly important.

It occurs to me that the folks who object to the ISO Standardization of DIS 29500 (Office Open XML) would place a different spin on the invitation's headline.  I think the spirit of this announcement is clear even if the headline is a little over the top.

I also think work to make the legal implications of IT policies and practices around electronic information more understandable is very important.  It is one of those odd situations where it is desirable to make discovery (and auditing) more efficient because of the burdensome cost that it can involve, while also making sure that electronic information is destroyed at appropriate times to avoid the secondary burden of witch-hunting by discovery.  C22 is a forum where knowledgeable people worry about that tension and how to delimit it.

[Cross posted on Professor von Clueless in the Blunder Dome and Orcmid's Lair because of overlapping communities of interest.]

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