This message will self-destruct: ephemeral messaging and e-Discovery

A new law review article got me thinking about an area at the vanguard of e-Discovery: ephemeral messaging.

In her article Disappearing Data in the Wisconsin Law Review, Toledo Law Professor Agnieszka McPeak considers the intersection of recent trends toward data privacy, the use of ephemeral messaging applications (e.g., Snapchat and Wickr), and the broad scope of discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Professor McPeak advocates for a balanced approach to the preservation of ephemeral data. Unfortunately, Professor McPeak offers little in the way of specific solution other than continuing the Federal Rules’ trend toward reducing or eliminating sanction for the good-faith deletion of ESI. Continue reading

It’s Not Data, It’s Discovery: the Digital Snitch In Your Pocket, In Your Car, and In Your Home

A few years ago, I was excitedly telling an attorney friend about the Automatic adapter I’d just purchased for my car.

“It’s amazing! It links to my phone and provides data on fuel consumption, engine health, and even maps out my trips! Just think of all the data,” I said.

“You mean ‘evidence,'” he laughed in response.

I hadn’t thought of it, but my friend was correct. The Automatic adapter is a veritable treasure trove of evidence. And it undoubtedly would be discoverable (and incredibly useful) in the right context. Continue reading