FTI Technology Managing Director Colleen Casey Voshell recently teamed up with colleague T. Sean Kelly to share some insights on dealing with mobile device data collection and e-discovery. Voshell and Kelly agree on the importance of counsel understanding policy issues, data privacy concerns and software limitations that come into play when dealing with mobile data.

In a recent article in the New Jersey Law Journal, the two covered some of the key factors for achieving efficiency, a proactive approach and compliance for matters involving data from mobile devices. Their article covered the following:

  • Device Ownership and Policies: One of the biggest issues with mobile devices is whether the device is company owned or the employee’s personal property. Corporations must implement a clearly designed acceptable use policy that applies to all devices, regardless of ownership. Part of that policy must give consent for the company to control the device through mobile device management. Given the reality that employees are going to use text messaging for business purposes, and the company may have a responsibility to retain that information for legal hold or other obligations, text messages must be specifically addressed in the company’s policies.
  • Software Capabilities and Limitations: Every company should have mobile device management software in place. While there are some considerations for deployment, this type of software is key in facilitating e-discovery requirements for mobile devices and helping counsel implement legal holds on remote data.
  • Data Privacy: While data privacy considerations can largely be addressed through policies and employee consent in the U.S., multinational corporations must be mindful of the wide variety of data protection laws around the globe. Conflicts between privacy laws and corporate policies can arise in regions where the data resides, where the employee in question resides and in any country where the company may be subject to litigation or investigation.
  • Production Formats: While mobile device production format may not be top of mind during the policy development and collection phases, it is an issue to consider, particularly when text messages are involved. Thinking proactively about production formats helps establish a clear picture across the duration of the matter, and will help drive the strategy relating to both collection and review.

Mobile devices are evolving especially quickly, and architecture and software tools that are new today may be antiquated tomorrow. Legal teams and corporations that have proactive e-discovery strategies and maintain up-to-date and enforceable policies will find it much easier to navigate the issues effectively and in a way that is defensible to courts and regulators. To learn more about Voshell’s and Kelly’s recommendations for approaching software deployments, governance and compliance, read the full New Jersey Law Journal article.