Legality of Scanned Documents
In an increasingly demanding regulatory environment, a digital document and records management system can help limit exposure to civil and criminal liability by ensuring the consistent application of records retention and destruction policies organization-wide.
It’s important to realize that technology cannot in itself guarantee compliance. Complying with regulations requires the application of systematic policies and procedures to maintain, protect and provide access to essential business records. To be truly valuable as a compliance tool, technology must be flexible and secure enough to support the complex record-keeping procedures required in a multi-regulatory environment.
While laws and auditing authorities vary by industry and region, most regulations share two common principles: Information must be set in time, meaning that the system must record, in an unalterable fashion, the date and time each digital image is created; and the system must use unalterable storage media.
To prove the legal admissibility of digitized records, you’ll need to demonstrate that the records were created in a trustworthy manner. You should also be prepared to demonstrate your system’s reliability and show that it leaves no room for manipulation of stored images.
In general, for an imaged document to qualify as a legal record, the following must be true:
The legality of imaged documents varies depending on the federal agency, state, county, municipality or department involved. Organizations should consult an attorney for specific information about their situation.
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