TazWorks is turning on data purging TONIGHT at 10:00pm MT. This means that data that is outside of your chosen purge timeframe will be deleted EVERYWHERE from TazWorks systems, including:
- Within our software and website, so that the information will no longer be searchable, be available in management reports, etc.
- In the external archive if you’re exporting files (make sure you’ve downloaded your files and saved them somewhere else or delivered them to your clients before this time!)
- From the Report Data Connector (you can save your own copy of this data if desired though)
- And anywhere else you may currently access your data through TazWorks.
It will take a few weeks to catch up with purging, so you may see some of your data begin deleting immediately, or you may see nothing happen for a few days if your specific system is not impacted yet.
Why purge data?
In short, there are 2 main reasons, with one added side benefit:
- Protection from larger class action lawsuits and fishing expeditions
- Protection from data breaches (they can’t steal what isn’t there)
- Improved system and site performance.
We covered these topics more in-depth in our data management and retention setting at TazWorks User Group. You can download the slides and see additional links and resources here by logging in to TazSupport.
How long should I keep my data for?
The FCRA does not have any specific requirements on how long CRAs are required to hold report data. We’re not lawyers, and we don’t know the circumstances of your CRA and clients well enough to help you figure out what’s right for you individually.
However, we want to help as much as we can, which is why we paired with Scott Paler to host a webinar in which he addresses some of these issues. You should also always talk to your legal counsel when making decisions such as these.
View our webinar with Scott Paler on how long to store your files.
Configuring your data purge settings
You have two settings you can configure for data purging.
Report data can be deleted anywhere from 1 to 7 years after the report’s completion date. This includes everything that is housed and accessible in the TazWorks system, such as:
- Applicant information
- Product and searches ordered
- Client & CRA invoices
The inquiry string can be deleted anywhere between 3 and 7 years after the report is completed. This is a separate piece of data that is housed within the code and is not accessible anywhere in the system. This will generally have no application to most CRAs, but since certain states require that it is held for a specific length of time, we’ve given you two separate settings. The inquiry string contains:
- When the report was requested
- When the report was completed
- Who requested the report
- The name of the individual searched.
I need to keep data longer than 7 years
TazWorks will host your data for a maximum of 7 years (or shorter, if you prefer). If one or more of your clients needs to keep their data for longer than that timeframe, you will need to set up file exporting to create encrypted PDFs of the reports that can then be downloaded in bulk. We transfer these files to you using an Amazon S3 external archive server, but this is only a method of transferring and downloading files in bulk, and not a permanent storage location. Information from this location will be deleted at the same time as it is deleted from everywhere else in TazWorks systems.
You can learn more about how to configure these options here:
- Configuring client reports to export to the external server
- Setting up your encryption key
- Accessing the external archive using Cyberduck
- Decrypting Archive Files.
These settings will only go into effect moving forward, so if you haven’t set them up for a client yet and need to export all of their historical data, please configure your settings and then contact us for additional assistance.
Wait! I’m in the middle of litigation!
If you need the option, we’ve also added a checkbox to postpone purging due to legal hold. This will not pause any locking or exporting of files, but it will prevent anything from being deleted until after you uncheck this box. To help you remember to turn this back off, we will email the primary email address associated with your CRA once a month until you have completed the litigation. When you have removed the litigation hold, the next cycle will clean out any data older than your settings.
You can learn more about your data purging settings here.