Litigation Support

 View Only

Short Text Messaging - Know Before You Go: Part Two

By Mark Anderson posted 05-03-2021 12:07

Please enjoy this short blog story from Mark Anderson, Director of UK Operations, CDS.

Collaboration platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams grew exponentially as businesses sought to support their newly remote workforces during the global pandemic. The resulting proliferation of short message data presents compliance, data security, and eDiscovery challenges for legal and IT teams. Here are five key considerations for handling this data:

Export Format: Collecting data correctly is critical. Typically, the export will be a structured data export such as an XML (Bloomberg) or JSON (Slack) format which will need to be converted into a reviewable format. Be sure your eDiscovery vendor supports the export format and can handle all data types (email, chat messages, mobile apps) in a single review tool.

Subscriptions: Subscription levels often determine what data can or cannot be extracted. For example, Slack’s Free and Standard subscriptions don’t allow the export of direct messages. Subscriptions that allow all data to be exported ensure nothing is inadvertently excluded. Alternatively, third-party forensic tools can bypass subscription issues.

Attachments: Collaboration platforms allow users to share and edit attachments, meaning an attachment may have been edited multiple times. Make sure to identify the correct attachment and note any other versions. Some apps (see: Slack) don’t export attachments, and instead provide time-sensitive links to the cloud, so you’ll need to pull these attachments quickly.

Context: Emojis, reactions, gifs, and inline replies add context to communications which may change your interpretation. To understand a conversation, your review tool needs to capture, maintain and present this information.

Unitization: Channels can become burdensome to review and redact due to the huge volume of messages. Consider unitizing data into manageable documents to achieve a more streamlined, targeted review.

These points can start a general conversation around messaging data, but each platform has its own complexities. Engage with an expert as early as possible to avoid complications that could jeopardize your project.