Email Retention Legislation in the US

    Email Retentions

    Companies or Businesses in the United States are required to keep record of copies of emails for years, under the Email Retention Law. There are various federal laws that apply to companies in the United States, these laws include email retention laws, data retention laws and many others. The laws apply to all the companies and groups that may be operating in each state.


    The email retention laws in the United States lead back to the 1950s. There are different legislative acts that highlight document retention, these include Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Freedom of Information Act 1967 and many others.

    However, in the year 2006, it was made necessary to include all electronic files such as emails into the document retention. Before 2006, the federal laws did not truly solidify the inclusion of electronic files into document retention.


    It is necessary to ensure compliance with email retention laws. On average, the number of years required to retain data is 3-7 years. In case of non-compliance or breaching of the federal laws, the company is charged with heavy fines.

    It is a must for the companies to maintain the copies of emails or other electronic files, for providing information or evidence is needed in any court. In certain lawsuits, various groups and companies are required to present huge volumes of electronic data in the court or for legal processing.

    In case, the company fails to provide the required electronic files or records then they will certainly face heavy fines and other criminal proceedings as well.

    Email Retention Laws by Industry

    retention in USA

    In all the 50 states of the United States, the email retention laws are applied. However, the time period of “how long the emails must be kept” varies depending upon the industry.

    The credit card companies have the minimum number of years that are required for retention and that is one year. For various federal and local agencies, three years are required for retention of emails.

    Industries such as banking, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals are required to have seven years of email retention. While the investment advisers, security firms, insurance agencies are required to have a data or email retention period of a lifetime!

    Massive Storage of Data

    A small company that has a limited number of employees will certainly have a lesser number of emails to store. As the number of employees increases in bigger firms or companies, the number of emails increases so an advanced system to organize and store the emails is required. In larger companies, the need for storage becomes enormous!


    email retention is US

    As we mentioned earlier that failure to being able to produce the required electronic files can lead to heavy fines. In different lawsuits, the penalties vary as well. The groups and companies in the United States can face sanctions, summary judgments, “adverse inference” instructions of the jury, and many others. 

    The biggest of all penalties is that the reputation of the company will be harmed in the eyes of its clients or the public. This may even lead to a downfall in the sales or the profit made through business.

    Email Archives

    If an order of eDiscovery is ever received, the email archives make it super easy to search for the specific data or emails. Email archives store the data in an organized form. Also, the files in email archives are compressed, hence, they don’t take much storage space.

    Being able to find the one right email from thousands and thousands of emails is very tricky. So, you can check out ArcTitan. It is cost-effective and easy, will certainly allow you to find the right emails at the right time!