Monthly Archives: May 2019

You Have a Choice When it Comes to Your Data, So Choose to Give it To Us

You Have a Choice When it Comes to Your Data, So Choose to Give it To Us: The Ongoing Dance Between Data Privacy and eDiscovery

We all love the idea of having control. Especially when it comes to the things that matter to us most. Things like privacy. And it’s that notion of control that tech giants like Google and Amazon are using in their latest announcements regarding user data. 

In a NY Times Op-Ed published in May, Google’s Sundar Pichai said, “Privacy is personal, which makes it even more vital for companies to give people clear, individual choices around how their data is used.” This along with a statement saying that Google believes the United States would benefit from GDPR-like legislation is no-doubt an attempt to reassure users. 

Amazon’s new Echo Show gives users the voice command “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” which deletes all voice commands from Amazon’s servers after midnight of that calendar day. In a few weeks, you’ll be able to use the command, “Alexa, forget what I just said,” to delete an individual command. But Amazon hasn’t said if these commands will delete metadata, and they won’t delete data shared in a transaction, like calling for a rideshare, ordering dinner, or purchasing something online. (In some ways, it begins to seem data is like energy in the First Law of Thermodynamics: it isn’t really destroyed, it only changes form).  

More than this though, is the idea that putting privacy in the hands of the user creates a false dichotomy: you have control on how tech companies use your data, but just letting them use your data makes the use of their products so much more functional and convenient. And as Lauren Goode from Wired said, when “tech companies have made it a choice between convenience and privacy, convenience will always win.” 

So, what does this mean for the LegalTech world? Any time data is involved, everything is at stake. Data is evidence, and the amount of electronically stored information (ESI) continues to grow at breakneck speeds. But, the same challenges apply regardless of how that ESI is created: where is it located and how can it be preserved, collected, reviewed, and produced for the courts in a timely, defensible, and cost-effective manner? 

When you throw privacy into the mix, it adds another layer. Who owns the data? Is it protected and under what guidelines and jurisdictions? 

Law tends to be a stolid, steadfast, and let’s face it, slow-moving entity; technology is always chasing what lies beyond the horizon. For investigators, attorneys, and other players in the eDiscovery world (lit-support, IT, paralegals, etc.) understanding the data landscape belonging to specific custodians involved in a case can be complex on its own. The need to understand the larger, digital world and how changes in both technology and policies surrounding the creation, ownership, and extraction of data become increasingly important in creating effective strategies for the courtroom.  

So the question begins, who uses Alexa, who uses Google and who decides to pass on both? 

Judge Orders Airbnb to Release 17k Listings to Investigators

Big Data, Big Discovery: Judge Orders Airbnb to Release 17k Listings to Investigators

The battle between home-sharing platforms and city governments has been a cold-war of sorts for some time now with the standard back-and-forth of lawsuits, countersuits, and lobbying. New York City in particular has been trying to limit companies like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, claiming they add to the city’s housing problems and allow people to transform homes into illegal hotels.

On May 14, Airbnb offered an olive branch of sorts, agreeing to “give city officials partially anonymized host and reservation data for more than 17,000 listings,” in response to a subpoena, according to an article in Wired. A spokesperson for Airbnb told Wired, “We hope that our compliance with this subpoena—by providing data in line with our shared enforcement priorities against illegal hotel operators—is a first step toward finding such a solution that is consistent with Airbnb’s legal rights and obligations and allows us to share the kind of actionable data with the level of precision that the city needs.”

Two days later, a judge ordered Airbnb to comply with four additional city subpoenas, which Airbnb had claimed were overbroad and unduly burdensome. Even before the 2015 changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this claim was a boilerplate response when large data sets were requested. The amendments to Rule 26’s language on scope made this claim easier to prove, with the data request deadline falling 30 days sooner, along with the requirement of specificity and relevance. But in this case, the City of New York wasn’t simply going on a fishing expedition with their data request but were very detailed with the what and why.

Airbnb says the judge’s order infringes on user privacy. But this ruling sends a message that if data is shown to be relevant to the investigation of criminal activity, it must be handed over. In the past, corporations often worked in good faith with law enforcement, while avoiding the release their users’ data from a direct court order (e.g. Craigslist dropped their personal ads section in lieu of a pending Human Trafficking bill to avoid the hassle all together), and it seems that Airbnb’s offer of anonymized data was an attempt to play the middle: give enough information to show cooperation with the investigation while protecting user privacy.

The amount of data continues to grow exponentially every day, and technology allows larger and larger amounts of data to be quickly collected, reviewed, and analyzed. Are investigators getting savvy with their use of technology and the ability to request data by using targeted requests in subpoenas as a way to force companies’ hands regarding user data?

 

 

Stuck in the 20th Century with Trial Presentation?

Your firm has done all the research, document review, and planning for trial, and now you’re ready to go into the courtroom and present. What do you bring? Many use Power-Point for trial presentation. Some are still relying on 20th Century staples such as foam boards and document projectors. And why not? You’ve always gotten by using these methods.

But imagine the ability to call up exhibits on the fly, video deposition tools, and a presentation that seamlessly integrates with the attorney’s dialogue, allowing you to tell a story that has a powerful impact on the jury and provides a positive outcome for your clients.

That’s where Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard were four years ago when they switched over to TrialDirectoras their go-to presentation software for trial. Since making the transition, they have far more control and flexibility over their presentations and credit the ability within TrialDirector to effectively present evidence and paint a picture that resonates and reinforces their case for the jury to successful trial outcomes, including a recent $148 million personal injury award and a $50 million dollar birth injury award.

“Ipro is proud to be part of the toolkit involved in such impressive outcomes,” said Derek Miller, VP Desktop Solutions at Ipro. “And we continue to improve and enhance the product to allow firms like Salvi to do important work.”

TrialDirector 360®is available as a stand-alone application or as part of the Ipro (Desktop) solution.

 

Ipro – Simplifying the Process from Discovery to Trial.

About Ipro Tech, LLC
Ipro is a global leader in eDiscovery technology used by legal professionals to streamline discovery of electronic data through presentation at trial. Ipro draws upon decades of innovation to deliver high-performance software, services and support, bundled as a solution and deployed the way you want it—Desktop, On-prem or Cloud—significantly reducing the cost and complexity of eDiscovery.

2019 Ipro Tech Show Sessions Now Live

If you couldn’t attend the Ipro Tech Show in April (or want to relive it one more time), we have you covered! Videos of the presentations are now live and streamable, allowing you to experience the next best thing to being there (and share it with your colleagues).

The general session kicked off with Ipro CEO Dean Brown updating the audience regarding Ipro andhow we’re future-proofing our technology partnerships. Then, an Artificial Intelligence panel followed with Kinny Chan (Precision Discovery, LLC), Stephen Goldstein (Squire Patton Boggs, LLP), and William Kellermann (Hanson Bridgett, LLP) discussing AI and its impacts on the legal industry. Keynote Speaker Kevin Surace, futurist and disruptive innovator, wrapped up the general session by speaking about the myths and realities surrounding AI, upcoming trends, and how to use them to get ahead of the curve.

Track sessions were led by industry thought leaders and covered hot topics affecting eDiscovery, including: Tackling Information Governance and Incident Response, and Data Breaches as it applies to eDiscovery. The Sedona Conferencealso offered CLE credits, product training, and certification.

Thanks to everyone who made this event a success. We’re already making plans for next year!

Copies of the videos and presentations can be found here.