MySpace Loses Data. Will Your Firm Lose Employee Records Someday?

It’s a record retention nightmare! What happens when over 50 million files are lost during a server migration?

my space logoThis isn’t a rhetorical question. MySpace, the once popular social media site, has admitted to losing all music files uploaded to its site between 2003 and 2015. “Due to a server migration files were corrupted and unable to be transferred over to our updated site. There is no way to recover the lost data,” explained MySpace’s Data Privacy Officer.

Wow. So, 50 million files lost and no way to recover them. And just down to technological error. What steps do you have in place to make sure this doesn’t happen – on any scale – at your organization? How do you make sure you don’t lose employee records due to technological issues?

First, make sure that everyone – from top brass to the lowest ranking IT personnel, and everyone in between – understands just how important record retention is. Retaining records properly, and for the correct amount of time, can keep your organization safe from lawsuits and penalties. Being able to access records quickly and easily helps keep costs down in a lawsuit situation by making e-discovery simpler.


“It’s important for the organization, just to make people’s work more efficient so 
we can locate things, save money and avoid risk.
And it’s important for information security and data privacy compliance,
which, like it or not, is becoming a bigger part of the operations of companies both large and small in the US.” 
-Jason Priebe, Seyfarth Shaw


IT needs to be part of your plan. It’s important to have backups of crucial documents, in the event of any data corruption or deletion. With MySpace, many indie bands kept their entire musical output there, as well as their web presence. If they didn’t have their music stored on an alternative platform or cloud space, they have lost it for good. If you lose employee records like this, you’re opening your organization up to penalties, fines, and worse.

obsolete file formatsNever assume that the one place you’ve put it is going to be stable forever. Make sure you have a copy, and that the format remains accessible. This means if you’re using an almost obsolete program, (cough, WordPerfect, cough), it’s time to upgrade and create the record in a format that will be accessible via programs for the longer term.

As a user of MySpace, you may not miss some of the audio files you had saved of bands you no longer listen to. But if you lose employee records, your organization is at risk. As a professional, you are legally required to maintain accurate and accessible records of specific documents. Just because you haven’t had the need to pull up someone’s I-9 recently doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep it. MySpace’s data fail should be a reminder that all technology can cause issues, and as an organization, you need to ensure that your data is accurate and accessible regardless of the technological problems that may occur.

Now, on to Facebook’s problems

Want some in-depth assistance with record retention management? C4CM’s Record Retention Compliance & Best Practices: Developing and Implementing a Compliant Record Retention Strategy for Your Organization offers you expert advice and guidelines for managing your organization’s records. Get it today, and keep your organization safe.

-Tina Nacrelli

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