Data Retention Integrity is a subset of data integrity that specifies criteria for preventing the loss of critical data through updates or deletion. It considers the future value of data to determine what data should be retained and how they should be retained. It looks to the future to determine the unknown or hidden usefulness of the data.
To ensure data retention integrity, a data retention rule specifies how long data values are retained in a particular database. The rule also specifies what is to be done with data values when their usefulness in that database is over.
Another rule related to data retention integrity is the data occurrence retention rule which specifies how long the data occurrence is retained and what is to be done with that data occurrence when it
is no longer useful in the database.
The rule applies to all data values in that data occurrence. Yet another rule ensuring data retention integrity is the data attribute retention rule which specifies how long the data values are to be retained in the database and what is to be done with those data values when they are no longer useful in there. The rule applies to specific data values rather than to the entire data occurrence.
In trying to ensure data retention integrity, there are some requirements to follow. In general, data requirements refer to the length of the time one needs to keep that data in the database and these requirements are determined by the law and by business needs.
For instance, under Data Retention Directive of the European Community in 2007, all telecoms operator in the European Community are required to retain data on all customer communication made or received, regardless of whether or not a customer is suspected of criminal activity. The said directive proscribes the retention of data but doesn’t require operators to capture and store six main data categories for each communication which are:
(1) The name, address and number of the source of the communication (and end point identification in the case of Internet transactions);
(2) The name, address and number (and user ID) of the destination of the communication;
(3) The date, time and duration of the communication
(4) The type of communication, that is, telephony or internet service used;
(5) Communications equipment used, including calling and called numbers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and
(6) Location of mobile equipment (cell ID).
Data retention requirement based on business needs may be used in policies for data archiving. Some of the reason for keeping data archives and determining which will data will be retained are based on large volumes of data interfering with operations, need for better protection from modification and need for isolation of content from changes. In most cases, companies will need to know why it has to keep data for a long time.
Some of the reasons backed by business needs may include data retention requirements in decades and its implications would be that archive will outlive applications, DBMS and systems that generated them, people who designed and managed operational systems, people who designed and managed operational systems
and media data is stored on.
Data integrity is very important because it results in a company having accurate and high quality data. Almost all of today's business organizations rely heavily on data and information. Data warehouses are established because companies will want to get a clear picture of the business operations in order for them to decide on important matters so they could innovate products or services that will sustain the company in the competition.