Although technology presents new challenges that necessitate adjustments throughout the year, it’s important to look ahead and be proactive as much as possible. As we say goodbye to 2016 and leap into 2017, it’s time to explore the eDiscovery trends you can’t miss in 2017.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Machine learning, technology-assisted review, data mining, predictive coding, and analytics are examples of artificial intelligence. These processes can be used to identify the relative documents, search for and extract pertinent information within the documents, and categorize the information into groups and subgroups. For eDiscovery, AI will be seen most prominently in two areas:
1A. Predictive Analytics – Combining data mining and machine learning, predictive analytics is a proven, cost-effective tool to analyze ESI for eDiscovery. It is a strategic tool that can provide insight into correlations, patterns, and other information. Predictive analytics can show trends and measure the margins of risks to assist in decision-making.
1B. Technology-Assisted Review (TAR) – TAR can be used to augment the review process by utilizing advanced search capabilities and reducing the number of documents that need to be reviewed. With the rapid growth of ESI, leveraging technology is essential in eDiscovery to speed up the process and provide the results as cost-effectively as possible. After all, time is money.
2. Cyber Security – The need to prevent intrusions and hacking has been an area of extreme focus. With the ever-increasing amount of electronically stored information (ESI), this trend will continue in 2017, with additional focus on assessing methods employed during a breach incident. Emphasis will be placed on new and evolving technologies to prevent cyber attacks and how to keep data safe and secure after a breach has occurred. Encryption is a major element in this implementation. Industries with regulated oversight will see an increase in information requests regarding security monitoring and how any incidents are handled.
3. Cross-Border eDiscovery – Rules for handling ESI from jurisdictions outside the United States vary widely. In today’s international data-privacy context, cross-border eDiscovery requests can pose a variety of challenges and complications with the transferring of data between nations. Machine translation technology is being more widely leveraged for foreign-language review.
4. Social Media – No longer is email the leading medium of electronic communication—that distinction belongs to social media. Employees are using social media to market, sell, and close deals. The increasing popularity of the “bring your own device” policy that companies now allow is blurring the distinction between personal and business uses of social media. Further complications arise because the data are spread across multiple systems and technologies using different devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) for the same conversation. eDiscovery tactics will continue to evolve to address the issues surrounding social media and how to preserve and collect the data.
It can seem overwhelming to stay on top of every new trend, but it’s more efficient from both a time and cost perspective to take a proactive approach to gathering and archiving these data so that you’re prepared for any future eDiscovery requests.