How does a government not have backups?

It makes you wonder how governments run.

Governments put out laws stating that, depending on what your company or organization do, you must keep backups of all data for a certain number of years or forever [or close to that]. Just in case there is an issue arises, you can go back to a backup and retrieve what you need. An example would be that a spreadsheet was corrupt because of a sudden power failure. In other cases, it is for legal reasons.

So, just yesterday the province of Ontario privacy commissioner announced that the Ontario government broke a law by deleting all emails related to the cancellation of the two gas plants.

The Ontario privacy commissioner found that as recently as January 2013, staff in the former premier’s office asked the secretary of cabinet, Ontario’s top civil servant, how to permanently delete emails and other electronic documents from government databases. [The premier at the time had resigned and a new premier from the same party took over in February 2013.]

So, if you were in the IT department, you would go to backups to restore the deleted data. But from what it looks like there weren’t any. Huh?

No backups? Can your typical user actually delete anything they want on their own?

As a government, you would figure that they would follow rules imposed on companies and organizations by keeping backups for years and that they can not be deleted except only after the end of retention time has passed.

[The story is ongoing. Probably updates to come.]


About ebraiter
computer guy

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