Google Vault is an e-discovery and archiving tool included with G Suite for Education. Schools can use Google Vault to comply with state and federal data retention regulations (Freedom of Information Act), monitor student activity, and retrieve lost or destroyed user data.
If you are not familiar with the initial setup and configuration of Google Vault watch my comprehensive overview available here.
As of March 2017, Google Drive is now fully supported by Google Vault. Retention of Drive data adds an additional layer of data security and protection, especially in cases where someone attempts to destroy important information.
Support for Drive retention is NOT enabled by default. Follow the following these steps to ensure that Drive data is included in your retention policy.
1. Visit Google Vault (ediscovery.google.com) and select "retention".
2. You will see Mail, Drive, and Groups listed as supported services. Drive must have a retention policy applied to it before it will begin archiving data.
3. You must also indicate how you want to calculate your retention period - from date of creation or date of modification. This is a very important setting. Most districts will want to use the "last modified" option.
4. One final option must be selected - what to do with files that are past the retention period.
For the majority of schools, "expunge what has been deleted" is the best choice. This setting will not impact the files within a users Drive account, only the files they have deleted.
The second option can be very disruptive as it will remove any file that is older than your retention period, even if it was not deleted. This option should only be used in very specific circumstances as it could result in the deletion of important documents.
Questions about setting up and configuring Google Vault? Leave me a comment; happy to help!