It’s great, all this easy communication, isn’t it? It’s not just lumbering servers on corporate networks fed by clunky desktops any more. We can exchange views and information for business or pleasure via any number of devices, from anywhere, at any time, using e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, texts, LinkedIn and instant messaging. What’s more, we can use our employers’ devices for personal stuff and our own devices for work. Marvellous, isn’t it?
And of course that is all true – down to the point when a dispute breaks out or a regulator starts poking his nose into the company’s business. Then, suddenly, the company’s lawyers want all the data which may be relevant. They may have issues enough because the company’s own data has been shoved up into the cloud. Where is that exactly? Oh, and what do we mean by “the company’s own data”. It was easy in those days of servers and desktops but what about all that easily-generated material which has been knocked out on all those devices? Who owns that iPad? Who owns the data on that iPad? Where is the data? Oh, I see – that is what they mean by “the cloud”.
All this raises serious issues for those responsible for giving eDiscovery / eDisclosure. The difficulties are not simply those of process – the physical and technical problems of identification and collection arising from having multiple information stores. Ownership, possession and control raise their own questions, to say nothing of privacy. And will anyone know the data exists anyway? The focus on process tends to obscure the fact that all this data may conceal evidence which matters.
All this is the subject of a webinar to be given by eDiscovery software provider iCONECT on 17 July at 12:00 CDT / 18:00 BST. Its title is ePocalypse Now: the 24/7 Work Week, Social Media and the Cloud. The host is Thomas Barnett, Esq., whose purpose is to examine how technology is changing how we communicate, work and live as it tracks almost everything we see and do. The issues are legal, technical and, increasingly, personal.