Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Steven and Shawn get schooled

Today's post begins with excerpts from an email we received from Patricia Kay Galloway, Associate Professor, Archival Enterprise and Digital Asset Management, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin. She wrote:

"We would like to think of mindful recordkeepers gracefully dealing with their records ... [A]utomation is promising, but if I were the public and you proposed to me that you would do automatic classification using a proprietary method of some kind that even you don't know, I would be very disturbed (and I say to my IR colleagues, it's all very well for you to use these fancy algorithms, but you can always go back to the corpus of records to test whether you are right -- once it's gone, we can't) ... keep it all is my favorite, especially for government records -- we're all supposed to be transparent, right? .... If you don't get pushback from elected officials and can somehow manage to deal with privacy and confidentiality statutes by either time-based restriction or redaction, then why not? It's almost to the point that you can get a terabyte of storage for $100. But the snag is not the email texts, it's the attachments in zillions of formats, and what to do with them?"

Many thanks for Professor Galloway for her feedback! We are still soliciting comments and advice from the records management community and other stakeholders, and continuing our conversations ...

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