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    What’s Ahead in 2017: New Trends in eDiscovery

    December 1, 2016

    By Chris O’Connor, Director of eDiscovery Strategy, CDS.

    Technology and security were regularly in the news this year, from email investigations to hackers. What will be the top issues for next year? As we close the year, we’re looking at the new trends in eDiscovery and electronic stored information (ESI) in 2017.

    Cybersecurity. This will continue to be an important issue for all companies that handle ESI. Preventing intrusions and hacks will remain crucial, but the focus will shift toward evaluating the methods utilized for access during a breach incident. More attention will be paid to technologies that can keep data safe after a breach has occurred. Encryption of data at rest is part of this discussion. Implementation of such encryption reduces the chance of sensitive data (i.e. financial information, commercial trade secrets, and protected government materials) reaching the wrong hands.

    On the government side, Federal agencies will spend more resources monitoring breaches and minimizing the impact of these events. Regulated industries will also see more requests for information related to ongoing security monitoring and evaluation reports related to incidents.

    Computer assisted workflows. Law firms will increasingly incorporate such technology into their work. From contract evaluation to brief success potential, firms will leverage the use of advanced computing techniques and content contextual learning to speed processes and move their practice forward.

    Active learning models in eDiscovery will also impact the use of technology assisted review (TAR). Some firms have been reluctant to fully embrace TAR. However, attorneys who are experienced with technology will advocate for the tools’ abilities to evaluate content and classify information, helping their colleagues become more comfortable with TAR in the process. TAR can be used to supplement or, in some cases, even replace large review teams. At a minimum, the technology provides a valuable and more accurate alternative to search terms to drastically reduce the number of documents to be reviewed in a large data set.

    Politics will impact technology. From net neutrality to de-regulation, a new administration brings with it a list of unknowns when it comes to the effect on specific areas of technology. Indicators from the President-elect are that his administration will re-consider all of the current administration’s policies. This means that firms handling ESI need to be prepared for changes to existing regulations.

    Outside the US, the United Kingdom’s persistent movement toward leaving the European Union (aka Brexit) will impact the global economy as financial institutions reconsider whether London remains a center of global finance. As the EU addresses Brexit, there will also be movement to ratify regulations related to protection of Personal Identifying Information. As individual states work through their own processes toward ratification, Germany and Switzerland have current regulation structures that may cause a sticking point and a potential threat to ratification in those states.

    CDS’ team of experts can help you plan for the future of eDiscovery today. Contact us to schedule an eDiscovery assessment.

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    About the Author

    Chris O’Connor, Director of eDiscovery Strategy, CDS New York

    As the Director of eDiscovery Strategy, Chris O’Connor advises clients on the use of technology in all aspects of the eDiscovery Reference Model (EDRM) from collection through production. He applies his deep knowledge of legal technology and processes to the design of case strategies and workflows to be implemented by clients and the CDS Project Management Team.