Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Patrick O'Neal
on May 30, 2017

Some new Google Vault features likely caught the eye of K-12 technology directors and email administrators.

The biggest announcement that certainly got our attention was that Vault is now able to retain data in Google Drive. But, when you dig a little deeper, there’s a significant catch.

In Google Vault, when you set a retention period for your staff, their email messages—and now their Drive files—are subject to that same retention period. For example, if you want a one-year retention policy, all of your staff email older than 365 days gets wiped out. If you’re like most people and use Gmail folders/labels to store important email and attachments, they'll be gone after 365 days. Even with a three-, five- or 10-year retention period, this can still be a problem.

Consider an archiving solution that keeps your archive separate from email in G Suite accounts. This way, if you have a one-year retention policy, email messages can be deleted from your archive after 365 days (in line with the retention policy), but that wouldn't impact anything in users' Gmail accounts. Nothing disappears.

The second new feature of Google Vault that requires some further analysis is legal holds on Drive. A great move by Google, you now can put specific data into a legal hold outside of a retention rule.

However, consider the fact that Google is releasing this essential archiving feature just now in 2017. This reveals that archiving and eDiscovery are not a primary focus for Google, and it isn’t exhibiting any signs of changing. It seems like a huge red flag for schools and districts looking for an archiving provider that will stay on top of development for the needs of today.

Lastly, Google made sure that users were aware that they can now export “point in time” Google Drive files. It’s great that you can export old versions of the Drive even if someone has edited them, but there’s a catch here too: You have to specify the date range or the specific date, which you or the end user may or may not remember.

A much better alternative is to use a third-party archiving vendor that allows export based on the version history of a file, allowing a user to see a list of revisions and even a preview of the versions until you get the exact file version you need.

[bctt tweet="What the New Features in Google Vault Mean to K-12 Administrators" username="Gaggle_K12"]

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