Technology: Auto-delete and the not-so-safe harbor

The safe harbor for ESI has not provided reliable shelter from sanctions storms

At no time is the burden of a legal hold more acute than when a company determines that it must suspend auto-delete on an information system. And the “safe harbor” for electronically stored information (ESI) lost as a result of the routine, good faith operation of an information system often does not provide much protection.

The regular purging of electronic data is a necessary feature of many such systems. Indeed, databases containing sales information, payroll records, billing records, customer service call logs and all manner of other information rely upon auto-delete and overwriting to function.

Contributing Author

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Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans is a partner at Gibson Dunn. His practice focuses on complex litigation, including information technology, data privacy and e-discovery.

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Contributing Author

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Lauren Eber

Lauren Eber is an associate at Gibson Dunn. Her practice focuses on complex litigation, including information technology, data privacy and e-discovery.

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