Beware of the Cloud: It Poses Real Threats to E-Discovery

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on November 01, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Cloud computing is everywhere. It's no surprise that many companies are switching over to the cloud. After all, why pay exorbitant fees to keep your data in-house when you can outsource to companies that run their own data centers?

But your company should also consider potential problems you may run into if you ever try to conduct e-discovery on the cloud. It may not be as simple as it seems. And there are some real security threats that in-house attorneys should be aware of.

This doesn't necessarily mean attorneys should discourage their companies from using cloud computing. There are many advantages. Using cloud resources can allow companies to utilize powerful computing options. It can also cut down on software costs.

But with some advantages, comes some disadvantages. When you store something on someone else's server, it sparks some legal questions. Such as, where documents are actually located if they are in a cloud server. Knowing where documents are is an integral part of any discovery process.

And it may be vital to determine what kind of laws apply. Whether or not documents are still considered trade secret or privileged if they are hosted on a third party server can be questionable, according to IT Business Edge. Generally it seems that privileged documents on the cloud remain privileged. But what if they aren't?

There's also always the issue of security. Lawyers might want to advise company execs to negotiate well with cloud servers to ensure high security for their data. And they may want to ensure that there are certain provisions in there to help mitigate e-discovery risks.

E-discovery on the cloud can be tricky. But that doesn't mean the cloud doesn't offer a lot of benefits. Just remember to reduce your company's risks when deciding to venture down the cloud computing path.

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