e-Discovery Trends

One of the biggest trends in e-discovery is finding ways to reduce the time and costs of conducting e-discovery activities. E-discovery can be a perplexing task given the multitude of electronic information systems in use today. Thus, the trend over the last decade has been highlighted by discovering ways to make accessing data quicker and easier. Today’s business environment is heavily dependent on electronic information systems and the automated transfer of information into and out of these systems. The type of system depends on the business function and the type of information inside the system. The challenge for those tasked with e-discovery is the extraction of “information about information.” Henceforth, where the systems and data are located has changed dramatically now that cloud computing is the norm. Gaining access to encrypted repositories loosely tied to the organization in a third-party cloud environment can be a challenge for organizations. Metadata continues to be an issue because many businesses have not considered the costs of retrieving this metadata. Therefore, when the business faces litigation, the business could be ordered to produce the relevant ESI. This process can be costly because only dedicated lawyers and records managers can authenticate the information.

Another trend for e-discovery is the use of data analytics to reduce the costs of finding and producing for review electronically stored information (ESI). A 2012 study by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice found that “about $0.73 of every dollar in e-discovery was spent on” producing ESI. Calculating the true costs of e-discovery are is a challenge for businesses. And there are more complexities. New privacy rules, such as the EU’s GDPR, require that organizations take a substantially more proactive stance to protect consumer privacy. HIPAA required U.S. health systems and organizations to protect PHI; with GDPR, it is even more important for developers t to design information systems that protect PII and PHI. Known as Privacy by Design, this can be embedded into organizational cultures to lower e-discovery costs, since confidential information is easily located.


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