Monday, January 5, 2009

Evidential Weight and Admissibility

BS 10008:2008 - Evidential weight and legal admissibility of electronic information. Specification

In a recent development, the British Standards Institution has released its Evidential weight and legal admissibility of electronic information specification.

"Legal admissibility concerns whether or not a piece of evidence would be accepted by a court of law. To ensure the admissibility, information needs to be managed by a secure system throughout its lifetime (which can be for many years). Where doubt can be placed on the information, the evidential weight may well be reduced, potentially harming the legal case."

"BS 10008 ensures that any electronic information required as evidence of a business transaction is afforded the maximum evidential weight. The process is based on the specification of requirements for planning, implementing, operating, monitoring and improving the organization’s information management systems."

So, what type of info is covered by the new standard? "The form of the information may be ‘page based’ (such as word processing documents and scanned or other images), may be ‘dynamic’ (such as documents with integrated formulae and databases), may be 3-dimensional and/or may contain voice / video recordings."

What does the standard include?
  • The management of electronic information over long periods, including through technology changes, where information integrity is vital
  • How to manage the various risks associated with electronic information
  • How to demonstrate the authenticity of electronic information
  • The management of quality issues related to document scanning processes
  • The provision of a full life history of an electronic object throughout its life
  • Electronic transfer of information from one computer system to another
  • Covers policies, security issues, procedures, technology requirements and auditability of electronic document management systems (EDMS).
Although this standard applies only in the UK, it may serve as a helpful guide to businesses interested in the management of their electronic information, regardless of their address.

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