With the growing requirement from legal and regulatory sources for web based information, litigation support professionals should be aware of the main issues surrounding the collection and preservation of web content and social media postings.
We'll start things off with why the concept of web-archiving is becoming more important in the preparation of evidence for legal cases.
1. It's all legally relevant
Web content and social media posts are now seen by both courts and auditors as being equal to other electronically stored information (instant messages, emails, contracts, file documents, etc.). A baseline for future discovery requests is currently being set for all companies as regulatory rulings, compliance mandates and legal proceedings mount up. Therefore, you will need an effective means of capturing and compiling all of this seemingly disparate information. This is where Hanzo comes in with its native-format web archiving tools.
2. Preservation is important
Authentic copies of web content need to be archived by a company in order to make that information defensibly discoverable. It is important that all original content and its accompanying metadata be preserved. Both legal teams should be able to access it when preparing. This will stop claims that the information has been tampered or spoilt during litigation.
3. Not all content is the same
Website content and social media content are very different technically to other electronically stored information such as contracts and file documents. This requires expertise when capturing and preserving each type of content. What is the solution? Well, native formatting is an efficient way of solving this problem. This means collecting website and social media content in it's native format and saving it in a secure archive. This method is the backbone of Hanzo's eDiscovery web archiving product.
4. Identifying types of content
So what online content is collected when archiving? For web content: most types of websites, sites with rich media and form posts, interactive Ajax sites and sites that need log-ins. Social media sites will have comments, posts, likes, attachments, videos, and photos collected. All this content is stored securely and then made available to the legal teams.
Your firm or your clients have probably made a significant investment in databases, systems and workflows for document review. The solution you choose for web content collection has to enable smooth integration with your existing systems AND it has to preserve the native content for defensibility and authentication purposes. Hanzo's web and social media archiving tools adhere to the ISO 28500 standard for native capture and provide load files for Concordance, Relativity, Recommind and several others.
If you are about to deal with a case that will be using a large amount of web-based evidence, remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Should you have any more questions, our team here at Hanzo can go through the process with you in more detail.