Yesterday I bought four tickets for myself and three friends from college to watch my beloved Stanford Cardinal football team play the Oregon Ducks later this season. I emailed each of my friends to let them know they owed me $120 (yes, the cost of tickets is outrageous, but that's a topic for another time). One of the three – the guy who has spent his entire career in Silicon Valley – responded by asking if I was ok with a check, or if I preferred Venmo, Cash, or Paypal. He admitted that he actually didn't have the Venmo or Cash apps, but figured that I might. My other two friends both asked if a check were ok, because they hadn't even heard of those apps.
I actually don't care what forms of payment my friends use, but I thought about this email thread as I caught up on a few news headlines over the past week. The first was an analysis of Xiong v Knight Transportation, by David Horrigan in LegalTech News in which the author clearly lays out the limitations of using keyword searches alone in e-discovery rather than a more thorough social media discovery process. The second related to the International Olympic Committee banning the press or others from making GIFs, Vines, or other short video snippets of Olympic Material. Of course the IOC has a right to protect their copyrighted material, but I couldn't help but wonder if they are missing a bigger picture.
Not so long ago, many companies banned social media sites on their internal networks – partly due to compliance and risk concerns, but also partly out of an outdated concern for employee productivity. Of course, their employees had access to smart phones so the productivity issue really was moot, but the policies contributed to negative perceptions of the companies as a place to work within a certain segment of the employee base.
The point I'm trying to make is not that each of you reading this needs to download every single new app that makes the Top Lists on the App Store or Google Play, nor create an account on SnapChat, Ello, Tumblr or any one of the other social media properties out there. But as an e-discovery practitioner, I do believe you need to stay abreast of new technology adoption, both in your work and personal lives. Would you think to consider data sources such as Slack or Hipchat? How thorough is your social media discovery process? In matters where establishing location of a litigant is important, do you think about collecting data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smart watches, Bluetooth devices, and phones? If you aren't at least somewhat familiar with how new technologies are being used, you may be missing out on information that could change the course of a matter.
Learn more about these challenges by downloading this white paper from Exterro's Most Debated E-Discovery Topics Series: Preserving & Collecting New Data Types