When most people talk about eDiscovery, email is usually the most common form of communication that comes to mind. And with good reason given that email remains the most important form of communication for organizations. Given its importance, it is understandable why it is also the first data that is requested during a litigation. While most organizations have processes in place to archive and access their employees’ emails in a timely fashion, they also need to be aware and proactively put in processes to deal with a variety of other data formats. Due to the growth of technology and smartphones, social media and mobile devices will continue to provide challenges for discovery.
The explosion of social media
Social media has skyrocketed. According to Pews Research Center, 74% of online adults use social media to share and collaborate. Companies are using it to build their brands, to communicate with their customers and acquire new talent. However, with increased popularity, both at work and at home, social media brings many challenges for discovery. How do you access an individual’s Twitter and Facebook account? None will easily hand over their passwords that will give you access to all their private conversations and postings. What about Twitter and Facebook themselves? Will they easily hand over their user’s private information? Is your company’s LinkedIn page considered when preserving potentially responsive information? What about other platforms such as Snapchat? Or Salesforce? And chat conversations?
Another challenging data format is schematics, maps, land leases, etc. These are prominent for energy companies and often are still in paper format. How do you search these critical documents which might be distributed over multiple locations across the globe? How do you search these documents to find the relevant information and produce it in the most efficient manner? What about audio which is growing increasingly important in the discovery process.How do you collect data from call recordings, videos, webcasts and customer service recordings? Often these are in multiple languages. Companies need to be able to easily search these recordings and locate the relevant information.
In today’s data intensive environment, information that needs to be collected, indexed and searched for a discovery process resides in a variety of formats that is increasingly becoming more complex. Companies need to be proactive in how they archive these documents, so that they are easily accessible when needed.