New Challenge: e-Discovery Compliance with Foreign Languages

eDiscovery is a regulation mandated by the courts, and impacts all organization, of all sizes, public and private. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedures (FRCP) come into force when an organization is under litigation, or has reason to believe it soon will be.

There is now a new twist to FRCP: How to deal with information that is on systems in languages and characters other than the standard ASCII characters you are reading on this screen.

For example, if one has litigation that involves Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese, Thai, or some other languages, the process of electronic discovery becomes much more difficult. And, since more and more organizations have offices or affiliates outside of the USA, the problem is bigger than some might think.

To make matters worse, many vendors that sell FRCP solutions, claim to have software that can adjust to these situations. A company buys the software, and when they later have litigation, then it is discovered that the software does not really perform as expected. Just because a system claims to be Unicode compliant, that does not mean the system can do the needed deep searches of data that would be required in an actual case.

One of the many situations that can occur is that attorneys agree to an ediscovery agreement, but IT has a real challenge complying with the agreement once they start working with certain data sets. But, once the agreement is in place, it’s can difficult to “un-ring” the bell.

There are serious penalties for not conducting the ediscovery process in a manner consistent with all the rules, and the discovery settlement. Doing deep searches is typically part of the process.

There are a lot of complex details on this topic. Samantha covered this topic in Episode 12 of the Data Security Podcast.

There is also an excellent article that covers more on the topic here: E-Discovery Faces a Language Barrier.

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