Why use eDiscovery when responding to regulatory information requests?
All companies store too much data. If you have to be certain that you have provided all relevant information, it is virtually impossible to do so manually. Even the most brilliant queries will provide too many hits and no relevance ranking scheme works perfectly all the time.
Automation dramatically simplifies the process of mining vast amounts of electronically stored information and helps you to find more relevant information, faster and using fewer resources.
You need to be fast
Most regulative authorities want you to indicate what is responsive, non-responsive or privileged within a short time range, often around 10 days. So you need answers fast.
eDiscovery platforms manage massive amounts of data much more quickly than manual processes or technology tools. eDiscovery technology cannot only help you to achieve this, it also gets to the heart of the matter immediately by performing early case assessments (ECA) that uncovers relevant information and guides you on where to look first for the most important information.
Speed is also important for your company. The sooner you know what really happened, the sooner you can plan your own strategy, start your own investigation with your outside counsel and prepare for additional investigations from other countries and services and claims from disadvantaged parties (customers, consumers).
You need to know what to look for
It is hard to find information when you do not know exactly what you are looking for. And if people want to cover up or even hide something, it becomes even more difficult. It is a continuous game of hide & seek, with one party trying to outsmart the other. Here are some clues on where to start your search:
- Look for individual names of suspects, partners in crime, related companies, etc.
- Find “One-on-one emails” sent to personal email accounts.
- Identify communication taking place at odd times.
- Locate emotional communication; anger, cursing or threats.
- Identify code words and hidden communication methods (Snapchat, WhatsApp, …)
- Analyze expenses, phone records and other data to find out where secret meetings took place.
You need to be complete
Your answers also need to be complete. eDiscovery is specifically designed to access, review, and process all your data and find potentially responsive information regardless of original file types or location. The sooner you get the real story hidden in the data, the sooner you can prove exactly what happened and plan how you’ll deal with any fallout.
You need to be accurate
Your answers must be accurate. Once data is centralized, advanced search capabilities, data analytics, and artificial intelligence unearth hidden details, pinpoint truly responsive information, and show how people, places, and events are connected.
You need to protect sensitive data
Data protection and privacy are hot issues and will become even more important in the near future., In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) since the end of May 2018 regulates all activities involving the personal data of EU citizens. Consequences are equal for European companies and non-European companies conducting business in the EU. The GDPR has brought substantial changes and compliance challenges for every organization that collects, processes, stores, and transfers personal data, anywhere in the world.
If you need to disclose data from the EU to the US, make sure your use automatic Black Lining (bulk redaction) and Pseudonymization to protect personal and privileged information.
Prevention is better
Pro-actively preventing non-compliance is preferable to preparing for investigations. The same technology you should use to answer regulatory requests can also be proactively used to search for risks, deviations, and compliance violations so you can address these risks and prevent them from happening again in the future. You can, for example, carry out a compliance run during take-overs or during an unusual economic situation. And it is good to know that (independent) audits by a lawyer (interviews and data investigations) are protected by legal privilege.