A public European school has an IT department with a person responsible for all mail related tasks, including the mail server.

Once that responsible sent an incriminatory email to a specific group of teachers, that use email accounts where the content is stored in the school mail server.

One of the teachers from the target group replied. From the content of the reply one can see what the responsible said initially is nonsense.

Then, the responsible deleted all the emails initially sent.

Is this allowed?

  • What new regulations? – gnasher729 Oct 9 '19 at 20:06
  • I changed to "Is this allowed?", goal is to understand what can be done under such situation. – Maven Carvalho Oct 9 '19 at 20:28
  • is this apart of a lawsuit? – User37849012643 Oct 9 '19 at 20:30
  • no it's not. This is a question from someone that doesn't know much about law that tries to understand a specific case. – Maven Carvalho Oct 9 '19 at 20:33
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There is no general legal obligation to preserve correspondence

There are laws against destroying evidence but for them to come into play there would have to be a civil or criminal case underway. From your question it doesn't seem that anyone is being sued or investigated by police so there is no evidence tampering involved.

Individuals and organisations are free to delete whatever they want from their computers unless and until they should be aware that it is or may become evidence.

Whether the deletion complies with internal organisation policies and procedures is not a legal matter except in so far as it exposes the deleter to employment sanctions.

  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Dale M Oct 10 '19 at 0:57
  • 1
    Also, if the emails were deleted when litigation was in reasonable contemplation (though not commenced), it would be a contempt of court (in the UK at least). The emails might still be on the server in any event. – lellis Oct 10 '19 at 18:49

The only thing I can see peripherally touching would be a data breach which is the unauthorized disposal of data.

So, one has to ensure if the emails were deleted and are not possible to recover. If it's possible to recover, then recovery it is.

  • Not sure what you’re talking about a data breach for? – A.fm. Oct 10 '19 at 13:09
  • I don't understand you comment. Can you say it with different words? – Maven Carvalho Oct 10 '19 at 14:50
  • Sorry. Why are you mentioning a data breach? I am unsure what the relevance of a data breach is. Are you talking about the possibility that the person who send the email may have hacked into the system to delete the email? – A.fm. Oct 10 '19 at 14:52
  • Yes, that's correct. The email is gone, as if it was never sent in the first place. The only doubt here is can the responsible recover it or not. Either way, if you wanted to retrieve all your information from there, you would most likely not have everything (which is scary). – Maven Carvalho Oct 10 '19 at 16:22
  • I don’t think it is obvious from the post that what you’re saying is true. It says he deleted all the emails initially sent. I see your point, but I just don’t think there is enough information provided in the question to make this assumption. – A.fm. Oct 10 '19 at 16:25

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