Can you trust electronic documents?

A new ISO technical report on electronic storage has a huge potential for use in situations where the trustworthiness of electronic information may need to be demonstrated.

A new ISO technical report on electronic storage has a huge potential for use in situations where the trustworthiness of electronic information may need to be demonstrated, such as in contract negotiations and in a regulatory and legal context.

Organizations, whether large or small, have a vested interest in ensuring the authenticity and integrity of electronic image files, whether created and/or imported directly or through a network – throughout their whole life cycle, from initial capture to eventual destruction – as evidence of business transactions and events.

‘ISO/TR 15801:2004, Electronic imaging – Information stored electronically – Recommendations for trustworthiness and reliability’, provides a complete list of controls that an organization needs to implement to safeguard trustworthiness and reliability of electronically stored information – including policies, security measures, procedures, technology requirements and audit trials.

‘The technical report is expected to result in improved access, reduced requirement to keep paper originals or copies, better long term accessibility, and improved confidence in electronic storage,’ said Alan Shipman, Project leader of ISO/TR 15801:2004.

The technical report defines recommended practices for electronic storage of business or other information in image form such as correspondence, forms and drawings. It describes procedures whereby an electronic copy may be demonstrated to be a true copy of the original, whether that original was itself an electronic data file or a physical source document.

At a cost of 128 Swiss francs, it is available from ISO national member institutes and from ISO Central Secretariat.

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