It is estimated that in the US alone, there are 396 million mobile device subscriber connections. That calculation suggests that there are approximately 1.2 connected devices for every person in the US. As the number of devices continues to grow, the amount of data traffic is through the roof — up to 13.7 trillion megabytes in 2017. eDiscovery professionals must consider the tremendous amount of evidence that is tangled up within those 13.7 trillion megabytes of data.
Source: CTIA 2017 Wireless Snapshot
Another high growth element to the mobile first custodian is the proliferation of apps. In June 2015, there were 100 billion iOS downloads. While social media is by far the most popular app category, there are shadow IT apps and chat apps that often contain important caches of evidence. eDiscovery efforts must grow beyond email to include these rich ESI repositories.
The usage of mobile devices and the complexity of the mobile ecosystem increases appreciably with millennials. The age group from 18 to 34 purchases significantly more apps. Studies have shown that this demographic prefers messaging and chat to email.
Your case’s “smoking gun” may very well reside within a Slack Instant Messaging conversation. A fitness mapping application may be able to prove your client’s whereabouts with their geolocation feature. Whether through messaging, geolocation, or other valuable ESI, it is important to understand the makeup, character, and quality of the custodians you’re dealing with and their propensity to use apps that may lead to additional evidence.
Beyond the sheer number of devices in our society is the fact that most mobile operating systems now enable cross-device sharing and file access. When you think about custodians and mobile devices, you need to think about it as an entire ecosystem comprised of the cloud, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. For better or for worse, porting data from one device to another has never been easier.
The ramifications of this sharing can be especially painful when Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices allow employees to network their personal devices with workplace systems. The consequences of allowing sensitive information to reside on an unencrypted misplaced cell phone or tablet can be disastrous for an IP agency. Employees can take it upon themselves to create unofficial work message groups on various messaging apps. Unmonitored, unsanctioned conversations, happening on company time, under a company’s name, can certainly lead to a murky labor dispute.
The explosive growth of apps on mobile platforms creates significant eDiscovery challenges. Fortunately, the headaches caused by new technology can also be solved by new technology. An increasing number of eDiscovery platforms can process data that comes from mobile devices. Lexbe, for example, is equipped to handle popular files such as Apple notes, iMessages, Slack, Microsoft Teams, office 365, Google Apps and numerous other native applications. Moreover, our professional services team can perform social media extractions. In modern litigation, there is no room for ignoring mobile devices and applications as potential evidence repositories. With the right planning and competent eDiscovery technology, you will be able to zero in on important evidence, regardless of where it resides.
For more information watch our On Demand Webinar “Addressing the eDiscovery Challenges of Mobile-First Custodians”.
Approaching mobile collection with conventional methods can result in run-away eDiscovery costs, lost data and the careless oversight of evidence. Traditional collection methods, including discovery orders, have not evolved to include the unique file structure and ESI channels that exist in mobile devices. Moreover, uncontrolled Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices almost ensure preservation and privacy nightmares unless deliberate steps are taken to appropriately manage ESI. This webinar highlights the various considerations attorneys must make as they strategize ESI collection from mobile devices.
Robert Keeling is an experienced litigator whose practice includes a special focus on electronic discovery matters. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex civil litigation throughout the nation and conducts internal investigations in the U.S. and throughout the world. Mr. Keeling has authored several articles on eDiscovery and social media and is a co-chair for his firm’s eDiscovery Task Force.
Preventing the inadvertent disclosure of privileged information in litigation is increasingly challenging. Technological advancements have ushered in varying mediums of information storage and exchange, that thoroughly document privileged communications. This requires additional review resources to protect confidentiality and privilege. The consequence for litigation professionals is more privileged documents and data, residing in increasingly disparate formats and locations, with an increased risk of inadvertent disclosure. Fortunately, innovation in e-Discovery technology combined with process and workflow improvements can help you meet the challenge of protecting privilege.
Gene Albert is the CEO of Lexbe, and a frequent speaker and writer on litigation technology, document management, and eDiscovery topics. He has his JD from Southern Methodist University and his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
G2 Crowd, an online software grading platform, validates users before administering a 60 point questionnaire to gain in-depth feedback on various software applications. Their analysis of eDiscovery platforms places Lexbe in the lead on 6 out of 7 key metrics in determining Return on Investment (ROI).
Lexbe won against competing eDiscovery services including Relativity, Next Point, Logikcull, and others in offering faster ROI (within a month by G2 Crowd analysis), and higher scores in nearly all customer satisfaction benchmarks.
G2 Crowd Findings:
G2 Crowd polled verified Lexbe users to determine that the average Return on Investment took less than a month for most users. This impressive metric offered the fastest turn-around time on an eDiscovery investment among the platforms included in the study.