Protecting the privacy of sensitive information is gaining priority across the legal system. From expanding HIPAA Privacy Rules in the healthcare sector to PII legislations protecting individuals’ information, what’s classified as “sensitive data” is increasing across the board, and those who do not take care may be swiftly penalized. The regulations might allow for individuals and corporations to rest assured that their privacy is being protected, but those in the legal profession have just been handed a lot more work. Combing through thousands of documents to manually identify and redact any sensitive data is a large undertaking, and one that’s extremely costly in resources, time, and perhaps most importantly, dollars. Knowing where to turn for help could make all the difference.
Legal technology is a rapidly expanding industry, and one that can’t be ignored. The right combination of legal tech can not only manage your discovery needs, but it can aid, streamline, organize, and enhance all those processes that go into discovery and any special tasks that might come up as well.
Venture capitalists are putting a lot of faith in the future of legal technology, and eDiscovery is a hot a ticket item. Kroll Ontrack’s Michele Lange told Inside Counsel, “2016 has the potential to be momentous” for eDiscovery case law. Lange predicts that the necessity to marry scope with compliance will dictate the progression of eDiscovery technology to adapt towards smarter, wider, and more economical capabilities than what the legal profession is used to. A chief driving force in this shift will be the need for security. 2015 saw an all-time high in cyber attacks, and the world has more ESI than ever before. Executives are concerned about their company’s data, so software that is proven to protect them, both in normal business practice and in court, will be a top priority.
To respond to the growing trend of PII regulations and ESI, plenty of legal tech companies are hard at work trying to make private data easier to find and redact. Many companies are already using Relativity, and there is a variety of tools on their ecosystem that integrate seamlessly with the Relativity review process so companies can take advantage of automated redaction. For example, Altep provides Blackout for their corporate and law firm clients, and in one particular case was able to redact and QC over 5000 pages within a span of 24 hours. By leveraging the available tools, they were able to meet tight deadlines and save money. Recommind’s eDiscovery platform also has redaction and highlighting capabilities to keep in-house review budgets down. Its features work across entire document sets, including pre-set data categories like phone and social security numbers. For less complex case work, smaller programs like Accusoft’s redaction tool can be great options. Accusoft’s functionality includes redaction review, annotations, watermarking, and a feature that allows users to “subscribe” to other users so that they can be notified when a task has been completed.
Knowing what resources are available to service providers could be the differentiator over the next year for corporate counsel. BTI Consulting reports that 58% of large corporations are turning in-house for their legal expertise, including contract review, meaning it’s more important than ever that general counsel has a good grasp on tech solutions for their common legal needs when it comes to eDiscovery. Paying attention to which technologies law firms and service providers are offering and pushing them to stay on top of tools that are most important to corporate counsel needs will ensure that in-house teams have exactly what they need as the case work dictates. Despite having a team in-house, time-intensive review tasks like redacting sensitive data often still require contracted help in order to meet deadlines and compliance standards. By choosing a provider or firm who is properly equipped with the right tools, like automated redaction, in-house counsel can efficiently complete extensive review practices on their own, saving on expensive hourly wages and resources that would have spent days parsing thousands of documents.