As with many industries affected by the technology boom, eDiscovery is predicted to grow in economic stature and complexity in 2017, creating both new obstacles and opportunities for legal teams.

The global market for eDiscovery software and services is projected to rise to more than $11 billion by 2020, and the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), coupled with stricter data security measures, will create new parameters in which law firms must operate.

New data security legislation like the General Data Protection Regulation and recent capabilities in AI will play a big role in eDiscovery this year. And the Internet of Things (IoT) and social media will represent untapped terrain in the field, as well.

Looking ahead, security, AI and new forms of electronic evidence will dominate the eDiscovery landscape in 2017 – here’s why.

Increased Regulations

As data security continues to be a hot topic, companies will need to be more cognizant of state and federal regulations. In the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect in 2018 and places new rules on data breach responses and notification.

Companies that don’t comply with the GDPR will pay a hefty price – up to four percent of their annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever amount is greater. On top of fines, data corruption itself is expensive. Data from IBM estimates the average cost of a data breach is $4 million.

As regulations become tighter, companies will need to stay on top of regulations or pay the price in money lost and reputations tarnished.

AI Continues to Reign Supreme

It wouldn’t be a comprehensive overview of trends in any industry without bringing up AI. From translation to healthcare, machine learning continues to turn heads with its ability to pick up on human tendencies and mine through massive amounts of data.

In eDiscovery, predictive coding is gaining ground as an effective way to look through legal documents quickly. The method uses AI to learn what to look for in certain documents by mimicking searches made by humans.

The new technology will continue to progress in popularity thanks to its convenience and efficiency, but, like many other AI applications, it hasn’t yet outperformed the abilities of its human counterparts.

The Internet of Things and Social Media

Gone are the days of sifting through reams of physical documents – if the past five years have taught us anything, it’s that companies are drifting further and further away from the practice of keeping hard-copy files.

The transfer and maintenance of data is almost all done electronically, and increasingly managed through devices other than laptop or desktop computers. While email is still likely the most popular form of communication in the corporate world, communication through social media on devices and tablets has become more prevalent.

In addition, wearable devices such as smart watches are gaining traction, providing another platform on which information can be stored. The IoT will force eDiscovery to take place on a number of devices on top of the traditional computer.

OctaveAPI For Relativity

The eDiscovery process can be difficult and tedious, requiring time and patience. Using new tools and technologies, while also being aware of up-and-coming trends in electronic data storage, will allow firms to better prepare for cases that contain digital information.

United Language Group (ULG) helps clients streamline the eDiscovery process using automation tools and Machine Translation (MT) techniques. In January, ULG announced its release of OctaveAPI for Relativity, an all-in-one platform for the eDiscovery process.

ULG will host a webinar on its OctaveAPI connector for Relativity on May 4, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. CDT. Those who are interested can register here.

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Strategy Legal

Jake Schild

Jake Schild

A former newspaper reporter and native Minnesotan, Jake Schild is a staff writer in the marketing department at ULG.

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