Please take a seat Mr. Snowden

04 November 2013 by Adrienn Toth

As we begin to set the table for the ediscovery and edisclosure predictions of 2014 we often reflect on those invited in past years:  an ever expanding cloud, big data, technology assisted review, social media collection and others. This year however, is unusual in that we have an unanticipated guest who reminds us that while forecasting trends is an important process, we are never prepared for everything.

Please take a seat Mr. Snowden.

It is unclear exactly what effects Mr Snowden's revelations will have in the long run, but already clients are becoming more protective regarding dross-border data transfers and the European Union is questioning safe harbour certification.

Global networks and the explosion of cloud storage has continually raised security concerns but they are rarely highlighted on such a massive scale. This is causing clients to rethink where data is stored, how it is collected, and where it is processed, as well as how to manage review teams that may be scattered across the globe.

A year ago the idea of shipping a fully-formed processing and review platform, independent storage, and an entire legal review team to a client’s facility would have been ludicrous, both from a logistical and financial standpoint. Yet since Spring, when some of the major revelations from Snowden’s materials surfaced, I have discussed the possibility of providing exactly this with three different clients.

Continually addressing clients’ concerns is our business, and while it is premature and reactionary to say good-bye to the cloud, an increase in local data centres and on premise solutions may end up being one of the biggest trends of the coming years.