With the landscape of data in eDiscovery constantly changing, it’s important to examine the current trends that will impact the field in the near future.
The most recent Norton Rose Fulbright Litigation Trends Survey shows a growing concern for data privacy and information governance, with 66% of respondents saying that they felt their business has become more exposed to cybersecurity and data protection disputes over the last year. In part this is due to remote work bringing more discoverable data sources to keep secure, but it is also because of the sheer volume of data that businesses are responsible for managing. Because technology continues to advance, an increasing number of jurisdictions are attempting to address the threat of cybercrimes with new regulations. It is likely that future litigation and regulatory investigations will continue to be driven by issues around cybersecurity.
Meanwhile, the 2022 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey shows that the greatest challenge impacting eDiscovery business performance will be the increasing number of data types, such as the Internet of Things and cloud computing. While data volumes continue to also be a concern, emerging and increasingly complex types of data will involve learning curves to be preserved and collected.
More promising trends indicate that the ability to manage data will continue to become more automated, offering cost and time savings. Technology-assisted review can reduce document review time by as much as 80%, and a potential fifty-fold savings in cost over manual review. And while data volumes are increasing, cloud and SaaS solutions continue to grow in popularity thanks to their lower storage costs and ease of scalability.
Finally, how are government agencies considering their data obligations as they relate to eDiscovery? Do they have procedures and technology in place, or are they expanding in order to manage the open records requests they get? It is most common for these agencies to have processes already in place to collect data from non-custodial sources, such as shared drives and archives, as well as messaging applications such as Teams, Slack, Google Chat, etc.
However, the data volumes that government agencies are storing for eDiscovery purposes has been growing significantly, and agencies are reporting that their primary challenges are lack of personnel and budgetary concerns. Most government agencies involve internal legal and IT teams within their organization as part of their eDiscovery processes.
As data trends in eDiscovery continue to shift over time, a renewed focus on information governance can help set in place policies around defensible retention, deletion, and data breach responses. Working with an eDiscovery vendor to establish a robust information governance strategy can be an excellent way to proactively manage the challenges and changes of upcoming data trends.