More and more companies are faced with the challenges of dealing with e-discovery in the cloud, which, in a general sense, is electronically stored information that exists outside of a company’s firewall. In a sense, a company that has a network provided by a third party is in the cloud.
In the early days of e-discovery these arrangements caused some pain because the contractual terms often did not contemplate frequent need for small and large discovery projects. Companies found themselves negotiating for pricing to access their own data in ways that had not been contemplated, with an incumbent vendor that had not planned for the people, process or technology needed to accomplish what the company needed. Many of the newer forms of cloud computing also were not created with e-discovery in mind and they generate the same kinds of problems for companies.
Obviously, this solution is not ideal for anyone. The employee must expose personal information and trust that the employer, its counsel and vendors respect the agreed upon parameters. For its part, the company must trust that the employee has identified and foldered the needed email despite the risks associated with self-collection. Finally, the emails become live once in Outlook, meaning that messages can be forwarded and sent out, just like any other email.