Retain Google Voice data with Vault

As part of your organization's information governance plan, you can control how long Google Voice for G Suite data is retained. Use retention rules to set how long to keep messages and when to delete them, if ever.

Set custom retention rules to keep data that matches specific conditions for set time. Set a default retention rule when you need to keep all data for a service for all licensed accounts in your organization for a set time. Custom retention rules override default retention rules, even when the default retention rule has a longer retention period.

Before you set retention rules, we strongly recommend you read about how retention works.

WARNING: An improperly configured retention rule can allow Voice to immediately and irreversibly purge data. Use caution when you create or change retention rules. We recommend that you test new rules on a small group of users before you apply them to your entire organization.

Important information about Google Voice retention

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Voice license requirements

A user must have a Voice Standard or Premier license for Vault to retain, search, hold, or export their Voice data.

For text messages, the Google Voice user must have a phone number that supports text messaging. Learn more

Vault doesn't support retention or holds of Voice data for accounts with Archived User or Vault Former Employee licenses.

Voice text messages are bundled into daily conversations

In supported countries/regions, Google Voice users can exchange text messages with other Voice users and with non-Google phone numbers. Vault handles text messages as follows:

  • Text messages exchanged between participants in a day are bundled into a conversation. For Vault purposes, the day begins at 12:00 AM (GMT-7) and ends at 11:59 PM (GMT-7).
  • When a conversation exceeds 500 messages or 4 MB (not including attachments), Vault splits it into smaller groups of messages for preview and export.
  • The last modified date of a conversation is based on when the last message in the conversation was sent. The last modified date isn't affected when a user deletes a message.
How retention periods for Voice data are calculated

The retention period is calculated as follows:

  • Text messages—Retention begins 11:59 PM UTC-7 the day the message was sent
  • Voicemails and their transcripts—Retention begins at item creation time
  • Call logs—Retention begins at call start time
Voice data processing and purging can be subject to delays
  • When you create or update a retention rule for Voice, it can take up to 24 hours for the rule to propagate. Items deleted by users during this propagation period aren't retained and can't be retrieved.
  • When a retention period expires, it can take up to 15 days for Voice to purge affected data.
Google may retain certain information, including subscriber identification and call and messaging logs, for longer than you specify in a Vault retention policy in order to meet our regulatory obligations. This data might not be visible to you in Vault. For more information, contact Support.
Some Voice data isn't controlled by Vault

The following Voice data isn't available for retention, holds, search, or export:

  • Google Voice data created before June 5, 2019 (GMT-7)
  • Text messages, voicemails and their transcripts, or call logs that involve a phone number that is assigned to more than one user
  • While some Google Voice accounts can record calls, this feature isn't available for Google Voice for G Suite accounts. Vault has no access to voice conversations.

Set a custom retention rule for Voice data

These steps are for new Vault (vault.google.com). Go to steps for classic Vault

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Retentionand thenCustom Rulesand thenCreate.
  3. For the service, select Voice and then click Continue.
  4. Select an organizational unit to apply the rule to. Click the field and click the organizational unit.
  5. (Optional) To apply the rule to only certain types of Voice data, uncheck the boxes for the data types you want to exclude.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Choose how long to keep messages:
    • To permanently retain messages covered by this rule, choose Indefinitely.
    • To discard messages after a set time, choose Retention period and enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500.
  8. If you set a duration, choose what to do with data after the retention period expires:
    • To purge only data that's already deleted, choose the first option.
    • To purge all data, including data that isn't deleted, choose the second option.
    Warning: Vault allows Voice to immediately purge data that exceeds the retention coverage period when you submit a new rule. The purged data can include data that users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.
  9. Click Create. If you set a retention period, Vault asks you to confirm you understand the rule's effects. Check the boxes and click Accept to create the rule.

Set the default retention rule for Voice data

These steps are for new Vault (vault.google.com). Go to steps for classic Vault

The default retention rule applies to Vault data that isn't covered by a custom rule or a hold.

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Retention. The list of default rules opens.
  3. Click Voice "".
  4. Choose how long to keep data:
    • To permanently retain data covered by this rule, select Indefinitely.
    • To discard data after a set time, select Retention period and enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500.
  5. If you set a duration, choose what to do with data after the retention period expires:
    • To purge only data that's already deleted, choose the first option.
    • To purge all data, including data that isn't deleted, choose the second option.
  6. Warning: Vault allows Voice to immediately purge data that exceeds the retention coverage period when you submit a new rule. The purged data can include data that users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.
  7. Click Save. Vault asks you to confirm you understand the rule's effects. Check the boxes and click Accept to save the rule.

Use classic Vault

Click below to open steps for classic Vault (ediscovery.google.com). Go to steps for new Vault

Set retention rules for Voice in ediscovery.google.com

Create a custom retention rule for Google Voice

Custom rules can be based on organizational units. Custom rules always override the default rule, and if multiple retention rules apply to an item, the item is retained according to the rule with the retention period that ends latest.

To create custom retention rules:

  1. Sign in to Vault.
  2. In the left navigation, click Retention.
  3. Click Create Rule.
  4. Choose where to apply the rule: Voice.
  5. Choose which types of Google Voice data this rule applies to.
  6. Choose an organizational unit from the drop-down list.
  7. Choose how long to keep messages:
    • Choose Indefinitely to permanently retain data.
    • To discard Voice data after a set time, enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500.
  8. If you set a duration, choose what to do with data after the retention period expires:
    • Choose the first option to expunge only data that is already deleted.
    • Choose the second option to expunge all data. This action includes data that isn't already deleted.
  9. Click Preview to display a list of items that are covered by this retention rule. Examine the list to verify that you've set the rule correctly. Make sure it doesn't permanently delete data that users might need.
    Warning: Vault allows Voice to immediately purge data that exceeds the retention coverage period when you submit a new rule. The purged data can include data that users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.
  10. Click Save. If your retention rule can expunge items, Vault asks you to confirm you understand the effects of this retention rule. Check the boxes and click Confirm to create the rule.

Set a default retention rule for Google Voice

The default retention rule applies to all messages and files that are not covered by a custom rule or a hold.

To set the default retention rule for your organization:

  1. Sign in to Vault.
  2. In the left navigation, click Retention.
  3. Under Default retention rules, click Voice.
  4. Check the Set a default retention rule box.
  5. Choose how long to keep messages:
    • Choose Indefinitely to permanently retain data.
    • To discard Voice data after a set time, enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500.
  6. If you set a duration, choose what to do with data after the retention period expires:
    • Choose the first option to expunge only data that is already deleted.
    • Choose the second option to expunge all data. This action includes data that isn't already deleted.
    Warning: Vault allows Voice to immediately purge data that exceeds the retention coverage period when you submit a new rule. The purged data can include data that users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.
  7. Click Save. If your retention rule can expunge items, Vault asks you to confirm you understand the effects of the retention rule. Check the boxes and click Confirm to create the rule.
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