Someone leaves the Department leaving data on Department computer(s) to which only they had access. Colleagues (possibly now ex-colleagues), supervisors, managers want to access the data, but cannot.
Allowing access to an individual's personal data (including, but not limited to: any files stored on computers, their email account) infringes the rights of the individual under the Data Protection Act.
Before someone leaves the Department make sure you have access to their work data. Heads of group should not sign the "Leaver" form until they have ensured they have access to any data they may need.
The IT committee has agreed that data left on servers belonging to assistant and academic-related staff who have left may be deleted six months after they have left. Data belonging to PDRAs or graduate students on any file share other than that which has been purchased by a PI may also be deleted after six months. A policy for data on file shares belonging to academic staff who have themselves left was discussed at the November 2015 IT committee meeting.