I ran across a very informative article yesterday on the TechCrunch site. The draw was that it is an article about the popular free online storage site called Dropbox and privacy issues. What surprised me, was that it included a good explanation of “hashing” which I recommend sharing with your case team when it comes up in your next e-discovery project management discussion.
Here’s the article link…
It might help to think of a hash like a fingerprint. Everyone’s fingerprint is unique, but it can’t be used to identify a person unless you already have a record of that person’s fingerprint to compare it to. Likewise, a hash-based DMCA compliance system can’t tell what a file is, unless it’s exactly the same as a file that has received a takedown request.
One of the things I like about this explanation is the graphic used with it to demonstrate how a very simple change will change the entire fingerprint. This is the reason we have both deduplication and NEAR deduplication technology employed in e-discovery processing. You will find information on those terms here.
Hashing often comes up in forensic collection planning discussions and around the topic of metadata.
We are learning about ESI Preservation and Collection for week two of our series on e-discovery technology. This is technology used in support of electronic discovery projects. Following the phases or stages laid out in the EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model found at www.edrm.net) we will take a look at the technology used for each phase (these are not endorsements, simply examples):
Preservation is a topic of great importance but exactly how important it is is often realized too late in the discovery process. Today’s e-discovery lesson provides a few articles that not only define preservation in an e-discovery context but also include ideas and recommendations for preparing to preserve data. Technology and software applications designed to meet this need in the marketplace come from both the left and the right of the EDRM as corporations try to plan ahead with improved information governance policies and law firms work to advise clients in the early planning stages of litigation.
Definition – Preservation Obligations, ABA article
Software – Download a free copy of the Gartner Industry Report on e-discovery software here .
The collection and harvesting of electronically stored information is also, often a not-well-thought-out part of the discovery plan. The question of how “forensically defensible” the collection needs to be is the starting place for developing your collection plan. Start here with a few basics about collection and collection technology…
Definition – EDRM Guide
Software – EDJ Tech Matrix, Law.com article
Next week, we will share a few foundational resources for processing ESI.