Challenges of E-Records
The following factors make accessing and authenticating electronic records difficult.
Multiple parts. Electronic records often consist of several parts that reside on different computers, and even in different locations.
Alterability. Electronic records are subject to alteration or destruction without detection, absent the use of technological controls.
Device reliance. Over the long term, an organization may frequently change or swap out its hardware and software. This can result in an inability to read historical electronic records.
Technological complexity. Electronic records can be created using complex technological processes that make it very difficult to demonstrate the records’ trustworthiness.
Ease of transport. Electronic records are easily created, shared, published and distributed. This can make it difficult to maintain a log of the records distribution, custody, and control, thereby reducing the document’s trustworthiness.
Longevity. Electronic records can be difficult to maintain, due in part to software and hardware obsolescence, environmental damage, data corruption, and inadvertent alteration or destruction.
Alan J. Ross is a partner with Bricker & Eckler in Cleveland, Ohio. His specialties include intellectual property litigation, e-commerce and Internet law, and civil and criminal antitrust law.