eDiscovery Goes Social

I follow several e-Discovery blogs and the topic of social media and eDiscovery seems to be a hot issue for the New Year.  When most people think of electronic evidence they think primarily of emails and other files stored on a company computer but in reality electronic information can come from all types of sources.  Cell phones, mobile devices and security key cards all store potentially valuable information.  As social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace grow more and more popular the lines between business and personal have become blurry.

It’s an easy thing to do – mixing business and pleasure.  For example, let’s say your Facebook account sends you updates to your work email.  You were tagged in a picture and the link is right there, tempting you to click on it.  So you click, just a quick look you think.  Fifteen minutes pass by and the time-suck known as Facebook has sucked you in and you are commenting on friends’ statuses and pictures.  The question is, is this now discoverable evidence and how can it be tracked if the need arises down the road?

All this leads to a good question, should companies block social networking sites?  According to the Fulbright’s 6th Annual Litigation Trends Survey Report, insurance and financial companies are the most likely to block social networking sites at the office.  As the popularity of these sites grow, I predict more and more companies will follow suit.  In fact, drafting a “Comprehensive and Legally Sound Social Media Policy” is the topic of a webinar I will be virtually attending on March 18th.  Guess if your company blocks your access you will have to stick to Facebooking at your desk from your iPhone after that…….

A recent Case in Point cartoon

A recent Case in Point cartoon

And for your entertainment, a recent Case in Point cartoon addressing this exact issue.  ‘Case in Point’  is a weekly cartoon series, created by CaseCentral Corporation, that illustrates the lighter side of eDiscovery.

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