It's important to know the laws and regulations that apply to your company, so that you can intelligently design your journaling strategy. Journaling is important in certain industries and geographic areas because of governmental regulations, such as:
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 17a-4. Requires members of national securities exchanges and securities brokers and dealers to retain itemized daily records of all purchases and sales, ledgers of all assets and liabilities, itemized ledger accounts of all customers, and other records for at least the last six years in non-erasable and non-rewritable format.
- Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002. Makes all publicly traded senior corporate officers personally liable for the accuracy and completeness of information contained in public financial statements.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Provides rights and protections for the electronic transmission of health information of participants and beneficiaries in group health plans.
- European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD). Standardizes data protection for European Union citizens by setting privacy baseline requirements. Limits the transmission of personal information to areas that are deemed to have adequate data security standards.
In addition, many companies are implementing journaling policies to maintain electronic communications archives as a proactive approach to prepare for government financial auditing and potential lawsuits.