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The Sedona Conference® has released a Public Comment Version of its Commentary on Information Governance, Second Edition.  The latest edition of this Commentary sets out 11 principles of information governance that provide a strategic framework for senior management to make decisions with respect to all information within an enterprise and accounts for changes and advances in technology and law that have occurred over the past four years.   It also incorporates guidance on information governance contained in The Sedona Principles, Third Edition, which we discussed in a previous blog post. As defined in this Commentary, information governance “means an organization’s coordinated, interdisciplinary approach to satisfying information compliance requirements and managing information risks while optimizing information value.”   The Commentary recognizes that information governance encompasses a variety of disciplines, including traditional records and information management, data privacy, information security, and e-discovery.

We wish to note three aspects in particular contained in the Second edition of the Commentary.

First, the latest version of the Commentary recognizes that organizations continue to “struggle with making and executing on effective disposition decisions” (see Principle 6 on effective disposition being a core component of an information governance program).  The Commentary goes on to recognize that organizations increasingly operate in jurisdictions where private or personal information is governed under new legal measures, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Principle 6 of the Commentary cross-references The Sedona Conference Principles and Commentary on Defensible Disposition (Public Comment Version, August 2018), which should be consulted when an organization is planning to execute a program of disposition.

Second, Principle 10 of the Commentary emphasizes that organizations should consider leveraging the power of new technologies in any information governance program.  These include applying machine learning, auto categorization, and predictive analytics techniques in matters of compliance and business intelligence.

And third, perhaps the most important principle retained in this edition is Principle 11, which states that “An organization should periodically review and update its Information Governance program to ensure that it continues to meet the organization’s needs as they evolve.”  Especially in light of the accelerating pace of technological change, it is essential for organizations to put into place a process for actively practicing this type of “continuing improvement” with respect to dealing with issues arising in the data, information and records space.

A number of Drinker Biddle lawyers have been active participants in The Sedona Conference’s various working groups over the years, including Bennett B. Borden and Jason R. Baron who participated on the editorial drafting team of the first edition of The Sedona Conference Commentary on Information Governance.

The Commentary on Information Governance, Second Edition, is available for download here and The Sedona Conference is requesting comments by December 5, 2018.    For a full list of Sedona Conference resources, visit its publication page here.

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