eDiscovery Daily Blog

Streamlining Data Collection in Modern eDiscovery

As an eDiscovery software and services provider who has worked with hundreds of law firms, corporate legal and government teams over the past 20 years, we have learned ways to make the process of data collection for eDiscovery easier and more efficient.

Hiring experts to collect data across newer communications platforms like Slack, Teams, and WhatsApp and devices can be highly effective. Leverage your team’s experienced collection professionals or your software provider’s partners for their expertise.

Data Types to Consider

When collecting data, it may not be as difficult or expensive as you think. Consider these data types:

  • Chat applications: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Bloomberg, Line, WeChat
  • Email and eFiles: Traditional eDiscovery emails and electronic files
  • Text messages: Business-related texts on company and personal devices
  • Phone calls/voicemail/memos: Recorded on the same devices
  • 3rd party chats: Social media accounts, gaming devices, stock trading applications, etc.
  • Location: Geolocation data from smartphones, health devices, cell towers, call detail records, and various applications
  • User activity: Automatically generated activities, such as browsing websites or logging into systems
  • Social media: Posts, comments, replies, direct messages from personal accounts
  • Logs: Visitor logs, patient records, employee activities, cyber incidents

Starting with Custodial Interviews

To uncover the correct data, begin with custodial interviews. Ask questions about work and collaboration processes to understand what applications and platforms are used for business communications.

For example, in a recent case for a global transportation company, an entire department used WhatsApp for communication despite company policy restricting communication applications to text messages and Microsoft Teams. Be creative and intuitive in your questioning to identify all forms of communication.

Addressing Privacy Concerns

The “privacy hurdle” will often arise during custodial interviews and data collection. Custodians may hide forms of communication due to privacy or incrimination concerns. Assure custodians that only specific conversations will be reviewed to alleviate these fears. Targeted collections or data culling activities can ensure efficient data acquisition and processing. Consult with your collection professional or software provider for specific workflows.

Additional Considerations for Modern Data Collection

When dealing with modern data and eDiscovery, consider the following during collection and normalization:

  • Data processing and unitization: Does the collected data need processing and organization?
  • Email/modern attachments: Are there attachments in emails or chat conversations, or are they hyperlinks?
  • Custodian interviews and privacy: What workflows are needed to ensure private data stays private?
  • Document review workflows: Are you culling data natively before final document review of all data types? (The answer should be “yes”!)
  • Entity normalization: Are you linking custodians and contacts to their phone numbers, email addresses, and application identifiers?
  • Data identification: Have you identified all data elements to complete your story? Consider additional data such as:
    • Social media accounts
    • Cell tower data: Geolocation and timestamps
    • Financial transactions
    • User activities from workstations/laptops and smartphone artifacts
    • Call detail records from the cell carrier
    • Surveillance data
    • Time and billing applications
    • Hospital health tracking data

Whatever the case story demands, there is likely data somewhere to support your assertions. Work with your technology and service providers, leveraging their expertise in modern data management.

In our new blog series out this week, you will learn how to best authenticate text and chat data, the importance of verification, and the importance of native review workflows for modern data.

You can also download our complimentary guide to learn how to benefit from eDiscovery technology to accelerate finding key evidence in texts and chat data.

Find out more about how CloudNine can help you tackle newer data forms with our cloud-based eDiscovery solution, CloudNine Review, and set a time to meet with us.