It often feels like email has been around forever. The first email was sent in 1971, a long time ago, but not quite forever. In technology terms though 1971 might as well be the Stone Age. Regulatory compliance on the other hand is actually a Stone Age concept.
Regulatory Compliance Started in the Stone Age
The first ever recorded law dates all the way back to 2350 BC, when Mesopotamian kings laid down the Urukagina’s Code. Three hundred years later we had Ur-Nammu’s Code, the first ever written legal code. This code created the concept of regulatory compliance, as we now know it, as it allowed for the dismissal of ‘corrupt men’.
We’ve come a long, long way since then but regulatory compliance, as a concept, hasn’t really changed. How we comply with regulations has changed though. When that first email was sent in 1971, businesses were already meeting regulatory compliance requirements for their mail. At the time it meant the proper storage and retention of paper letters.
Regulatory Compliance hasn’t Changed much since the 70s
This storage involved developing a secure filing system where letters, along with other documents, could be found efficiently when required. These procedures were important for regulatory compliance when email began and now they provide the framework for email regulatory compliance.
With laws like the Sarbanes Oxley act, email is now seen as an important business document that needs to be stored appropriately. So now, best practice is to store your email in an archive that is easily searchable and stored in a secure location. Email archiving solutions are the ideal way to make sure your email meets regulatory guidelines, and they do much the same job as those filing cabinets in the 70s.
Email in historic terms may be a much newer concept than regulatory compliance. But the way we deal with both is much older than you think.