Improve eDiscovery With These Simple Data Privacy & Compliance Tweaks

08 December 2023 by Uday eDiscovery data-privacy Compliance

Takeaway: Use our four simple privacy and compliance concepts to set up your own eDiscovery best practices. And level up by finding trusted eDiscovery software to help handle your data.

Attorneys increasingly have to pay attention to data privacy and compliance issues in eDiscovery.

Data privacy and compliance are closely intertwined with technology – so the more technology there is in eDiscovery, the more data privacy and compliance become important. This means that understanding eDiscovery means understanding data privacy laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. (These laws outline the handling of personal data, influencing how legal professionals collect, process, and store digital information.) Ignoring these laws isn’t an option, as courts will penalize you for failing to comply.

This is why savvy law firms set up best practices when dealing with data and privacy.

Data privacy and compliance can be tricky. That’s why it’s worth tackling them with these popular best practices.

1. Identify and gather data strategically.

You first want to identify relevant eDiscovery data strategically. This means collaborating with clients to pinpoint potential sources of electronically stored information (ESI). These sources range from emails and documents to databases, social media, and cloud storage. And you might use data mapping techniques to help locate and categorize various data sources.

Try to balance proportionality and relevance. It’s vital to gather data proportionate to the case’s requirements. Avoiding both over-collection and under-collection is key, as over-collecting can escalate costs and complexity, while under-collecting might overlook essential information. The focus should be on gathering data that is most likely relevant to your case.

Uphold legal and ethical standards strictly. During the data collection phase, ensure you stick to legal and ethical standards. This includes complying with privacy laws and establishing protocols to identify and segregate privileged communications.

2. Process and review data responsibly.

After collecting the data, they must be processed for review. This stage involves converting the data into review-friendly formats, filtering out duplicate files, and organizing what’s left. Using eDiscovery tools can streamline this process, making it more efficient and minimizing errors. (We’ll cover this in a bit.) You’ll also want to use data security techniques like encrypted data storage/transfer and robust access controls (limiting who can access what). Larger firms might consider investing in advanced tools like technology-assisted review and text analytics. These use algorithms to sift through and identify likely relevant documents, reducing the volume of data you’ll have to review manually. Not relevant for small and midsize firms but potentially useful for larger ones.

3. Document and report the entire process.

A key eDiscovery standard is to record, in detail, everything you do – from data collection to processing and review. These records are crucial for demonstrating compliance and due diligence in court. The idea is to be transparent when reporting your eDiscovery processes and outcomes to clients and courts. So, keep logs of the steps you took to manage your data, addressing any challenges or limitations you faced.

4. Set up a feedback loop for improvement.

eDiscovery is evolving so rapidly that you must keep up with the latest technologies and best practices. **One option is to do post-case reviews of your eDiscovery process to identify areas you can improve. This ongoing feedback mechanism is how you’ll refine your data management strategies over time.

All of this becomes easier when you find the right eDiscovery software.

Finding the right eDiscovery software should be your first step in your eDiscovery journey. That’s because the best applications can manage large data volumes, support many file types, and come with powerful data review tools. Plus, they’ll encrypt your data and have strict access/authentication controls. And best of all, the software comes with responsive customer care and will automatically install software patches/updates – so you won’t have to bother with any technical troubleshooting. Yes, there’s a lot of background privacy/compliance work you’ll need to do anyway – but the right eDiscovery software can complement all of this by simplifying your workflows.

For instance, see how GoldFynch can simplify eDiscovery.

An eDiscovery subscription service like GoldFynch comes with a bunch of attractive advantages.

  • It costs just $25 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. With GoldFynch, you know exactly what you’re paying for: its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
  • It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch charges only for storage (processing files is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up-front how much you’ll be paying. You can upload and cull as much data as you want as long as you stay below your storage limit. And even if you do cross the limit, you can upgrade your plan with just a few clicks. Also, billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. GoldFynch runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free trial case (0.5 GB of data and a processing cap of 1 GB) without adding a credit card.
  • It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch, and you’re good to go. Plus, you get prompt and reliable tech support (our average response time is 30 minutes).
  • Access it from anywhere, and 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.

Want to find out more about GoldFynch?