Companies Now Recording Electronic Information

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Accustomed to surfing the Internet and minimizing the screen when your boss walks by? That tactic won't work anymore. Federal rules now require companies to keep track of all electronic documents created by employees.

"This is like preserving paper documents that a business normally keeps. It's spread sheets, it's financial records and those kinds of things," said Faye Jones, Director of the Florida State University Law Library.

It’s information that needs to be accessible if a company ever faces federal litigation.

Brian Dean, President of William Dean Homes, said his business will not be affected. The new regulation is requiring companies to do what he has already been practicing.

"It's a lot easier to keep track of e-mail and to file it automatically. Basically, so we do keep records of everything that comes in and out of company," said Dean.

A task some said is easier for smaller businesses and larger companies may face higher costs to organize data.

"This is a fundamental change that places the burden on businesses to keep the material, to keep it organized and to keep so it is accessible," added Jones.

This rule change makes it more important for companies to know what electronic information they have and how to retrieve it. The new regulation was passed in April by the Supreme Court as part of the discovery process between evidence shared by parties before trial.