By default, Adobe Sign securely retains all customer documents on the service for as long as the account is active.
Transactional information persists in the system until the customer takes action to delete the agreements explicitly.
Upon expiration or termination of a Customer’s license to Adobe Sign, Adobe is under no obligation to retain the Customer’s agreements, audit reports, or other Customer data.
However, if Adobe does retain such data, it will be deleted in accordance with any retention policy that was defined while the Customer had an active Adobe Sign license.
For customers that prefer to store their agreement records in their own systems, and want to delete the original documents from the Adobe Sign systems, a “retention policy” can be defined that asserts how long Adobe Sign should retain the transaction, and automatically delete the agreement (and optionally the supporting audit/personal data) from Adobe Sign after that timespan.
Retention rules are defined by an account-level admin in the Data Governance section of the admin menu.
Documents/files/attachments vs. Agreements vs. Transactions
Rule vs RuleID
The term Rule (in the context of this article) describes a prescribed process. In this case, the process that governs when an agreement is deleted from the Adobe Sign system. It's a generic term used to talk about the idea of applying a variable condition (when to delete an agreement) to another object (agreements in this case).
The term RuleID is used to describe a specific configured rule. When a rule is created, a unique ID number is assigned (thus RuleID) to differentiate it from all other rules. The configured ruleID is the literal object that is related to the agreement
Terminal State for an Agreement
Retention rules are triggered when an agreement reaches a "terminal state".
A terminal state is achieved when the agreement has no further actions that can be taken by recipients to complete it. There are three terminal states:
When an agreement enters a terminal state:
If a retention rule is applied to the agreement:
The terminal agreement waits until the designated deletion time.
When the deletion time arrives, Adobe Sign checks the RuleID to determine if the rule is Disabled or not
Configure the account-level retention (if any) first.
All groups automatically inherit the account-level settings, so if your intention is to apply one policy to all groups, this achieves that goal:
The Create Retention Rule overlay presents:
The first rule (at the top of the stack, without an End Date) is the currently applied rule. Only one rule may be applied for any one group at a time.
If a new rule is created:
By configuring, the group-level retention rules, you will override the inherited account-level rules for the users currently in the group.
If a user is moved between groups with agreements in progress, the retention rules of the new group apply to any agreements that enter a terminal state while in that group.
Terminal agreements that have a retention rule applied prior to moving the creating user to a new group will honor the deletion date of the applied rule, provided the rule is not disabled before the deletion action.
With the above in mind, configuring group-level retention rules is different in only two ways:
To access a group's data governance tab:
Once rules have been created in groups, you can access those group-level retention rules from the account-level Data Governance tab:
When configuring group-level rules, an additional option to Retain all agreements for this group is available.
This option allows a group to override an account level retention rule, and keep all agreements (for the users in the group) indefinitely.
Enabled – Rules that are still valid for the agreements that entered a terminal state when the rule was being applied
Disabled – Disabled rules are no longer being applied. If an agreement reached a terminal state under a disabled rule, it will not be deleted on the target deletion day
Expired – Expired rules have no terminal agreements that are pending deletion
Legacy - Customers that had a retention policy governed by the legacy back-end setting will see a reflection of that policy as a Legacy retention rule.
The list of retention rules can be filtered by clicking the “hamburger” icon in the upper-right of the table.
This set of options allows you to filter for:
You also have the option to return 15, 30, or 50 records per page.
Disabling a rule cannot be reversed.
Disabling a rule will cause all remaining agreements subject to the rule to no longer have a deletion date that will be honored.
These agreements would then have to be deleted using GDPR tools.
To disable a rule:
Retention is based on group-level settings (either explicitly set or inherited from the account-level settings).
Future auditing of retention rules that have been applied demand that a history of the rules persist.
For this reason, the GroupID is not fully deleted. Instead, the necessary settings are kept in place, and can be reviewed/edited thru the account-level admin’s access to Groups.
Deleted groups can be exposed on the Groups page by clicking the “hamburger” icon and selecting Show Only Deleted Groups
Single-click the group to be edited, and click the Group Settings link.