Skip to content

Data Retention Policies and Management Best Practices

When developing a data retention policy for your company, the following best practices help make sure your policy is effective, compliant with relevant laws and regulations, and aligned with your business objectives. Here are some key best practices to consider.


We recommend you review all policies, practices, and processes related to this app with your company's legal representative before you begin enforcing any retention policies. This will help you remain compliant with any applicable laws or regulations.

Understand Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Begin by understanding the legal and regulatory requirements that apply to your industry and the type of data you handle. This includes laws such as GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, and industry-specific regulations. Ensure that your data retention policy complies with these requirements. Review our section on Data Retention Laws and Regulations to get started.
Identify Data Types and Classify Data
Identify the types of data your company collects, processes, and stores. Classify data based on its sensitivity, importance, and regulatory requirements. This classification will help determine appropriate retention periods and security measures. Within Confluence the data types can be blog posts or pages, but the context of each page or blog post may require a specific type of data classification; an example would be a Confluence Page containing company working policies and Human Resources information. Retention Manager for Confluence can help you set content specific retention periods with our Policy Extension feature.
Define and Publish Retention Periods
Establish clear guidelines for how long different types of data should be retained based on legal requirements, business needs, and industry best practices. Consider factors such as the purpose of data collection, statutory limitations, and potential litigation or audit requirements.
Implement Secure Storage and Access Controls
Implement appropriate security measures to protect retained data from unauthorized access, alteration, or disclosure. This may include encryption, access controls, authentication mechanisms, and physical security measures for storage facilities. Retention Manager for Confluence will help you with the process of secure storage and access control.
Establish Data Disposal Procedures
Develop procedures for the secure disposal of data when it reaches the end of its retention period or is no longer needed for business or legal purposes. Ensure that data is securely erased, purged, shredded, or anonymized to prevent unauthorized access or recovery. Retention Manager for Confluence provides an option for automated purging of content based on retention periods ending. When content is purged from Retention Manager for Confluence, it is not recoverable to the organization.
Document Policies and Procedures
Document your data retention policy and associated procedures in a clear and accessible manner. Ensure that employees understand their roles and responsibilities in implementing the policy and provide training as needed.
Regularly Review and Update the Policy
Data retention requirements may change over time due to evolving regulations, changes in business practices, or technological advancements. Regularly review and update your data retention policy to ensure it remains current and effective.
Conduct Audits and Assessments
Periodically audit your data retention practices to ensure compliance with the policy and relevant regulations. Identify any areas of non-compliance or potential risks and take corrective actions as needed.
Monitor and Measure Compliance
Establish mechanisms for monitoring and measuring compliance with the data retention policy. Regularly assess compliance metrics and address any issues or deviations promptly. Retention Manager for Confluence provides an Audit Log which retains a record for policy updates, content extensions, and a record for content that was purged in a manner that helps comply with ongoing audits and assessments.
Involve Stakeholders
Engage stakeholders from across the organization, including legal, IT, compliance, and business units, in the development and implementation of the data retention policy. Ensure that the policy reflects the needs and priorities of all stakeholders.

By following these best practices, your company can develop a data retention policy that effectively manages data while ensuring compliance, security, and alignment with business objectives. Regular review and updates will help ensure that the policy remains relevant and effective in addressing evolving data management needs and regulatory requirements.