Should We Archive Social Media?

November 21, 20172 min read

MirrorWeb looks into whether firms should be archiving their social media to comply with MiFID II

Trying to understand and decide which electronic communications records should be kept and for how long is a complex challenge for all organisations. MiFID II introduces numerous law changes that financial services organisations must abide by. Record keeping regulations have been tightened further and firms must now have a consistent means of capturing, retaining and reproducing records of all activity whether they are personal communications, telephone, or electronic communications.

MiFID II is purposely vague in its use of electronic communications and it is up to regulated firms to decide which recordkeeping rules apply to them. The FCA has been a little more explicit in its definition of electronic communications and in its finalised guidance FG15/4 it referred directly to:

  • Blogs
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

The guidance went on to say:

"Firms should also keep adequate records of any significant communications. As well as
helping to protect consumers, these records enable the firm to deal effectively with any
subsequent claims or complaints. Firms should not rely on digital media channels to
maintain records, as they will not have control over this: social media in particular may
refresh content from time to time, with the consequent deletion of older material.

Social media content is entirely outside your control. Even if they are able to get hold of the data, there are significant challenges. Social media content is in a variety of complicated, interactive, and non-standardised formats.

Any social media communication can be deleted in an instant. Even if they are careful about protecting their own content, nothing prevents others from deleting important comments or messages. Once deleted, those communications could be lost forever.

To remove the risk of being unable to prove compliance in the event of a customer complaint it is vital your clients have a defensible record of all electronic communications. Good governance should dictate that all organisations archive all electronic communications for a minimum of 6 years. The storage of the archive should be in a legally admissible format such as ISO28500 standard WARC file. 

MirrorWeb is the trusted partner of many regulated firms as well as the UK National Archives and UK Parliament.