I work for a multinational corporation. Among the training courses everybody is obligated to take, there’s the Ethics course, and there’s the Document Retention course.
The Ethics course dictates that we deal with our customers and suppliers fairly, we follow the laws, etc. (*)
The Document Retention course says that every document can be subject to a retention policy, and that some people in the Legal team can request/order that specific documents be remitted to them and/or that they be destroyed.
Similarly, there’s an e-mail retention policy that essentially says that all e-mails must be destroyed after 1 year, and that exceptions can be made to allow for a few years more, but “forever” is not an option. This is justified by saying it saves storage space, it decreases “privacy risk” and it decreases “risk of litigation”.
I find it really odd that, as an “ethical” company, we’re supposed (obligated, even) to destroy evidence of anything. Is this common in large corporations?
(* I understand that the Ethics thing is partly CYA: if an employee commits fraud, corruption, etc., the company can point to the policy and put the responsibility on the employee.)