Top Five Takeaways from PREX17

by Zapproved LLC

Tech, data security and ethics dominate e-discovery conversations heading into 2018

Every year at PREX, our in-house e-discovery conference, I’m exposed to an impressive array of intriguing new perspectives and creative solutions by the business and thought leaders in the e-discovery space. This year was no different. The combination of forward-thinking presentations, conversations with old friends and focus on new technology applications provided a clear set of themes that are driving our industry heading into 2018.

Here are my top five takeaways.

1. Hunger for technologies that work is building

Software continues to drive the business world, and the options are becoming overwhelming. This year at PREX we added a Technical Track breakout series to address a growing desire to understand how to best use technologies for specific legal department needs. We could have easily doubled the amount of these sessions.

From developing KPIs for in-house legal operations to migrating data in a legally defensible way, it became clear that we’ve moved beyond considering whether technology is the solution. We now collectively accept that all aspects of business require technology, and, given the exploding number of options, the primary question is one of optimization. Attendees were concerned with intelligently strategizing in a holistic manner for their larger company ecosystem.

Our friends from Hanzo Archives pointed out that by 2020, 50 percent of the workforce will be millennials who won’t use email as a purposeful communication tool. Further, BYOD (bring your own device) tendencies blur the line between data accessed by work-provided devices and data accessed through personal devices. These changes in how the workforce creates, exchanges and retains ESI means that business leaders can no longer adopt piecemeal, siloed technologies in a patchwork architecture.

2. E-discovery, information security and data privacy are aligning

A year ago,the concern for data security was certainly growing, but siloed. Questions of information governance, employee privacy and e-discovery were all treated as distinct areas of focus — all important, but unrelated. Not in 2017.

Presenters such as Code42 made the connection between data backup and security practices. Thought leaders like Steve Watson illustrated how the GDPR for the EU affects cross-border data transfers and how the proportionality principles effectively function. The takeaway is that businesses can’t afford to treat data considerations separately. A comprehensive information strategy that anticipates the interconnectedness of data sources and resulting legal requirements is no longer a luxury.

3. Sources of ESI are exploding and evolving

When considering business-relevant data sources, many of us quickly think of our standard personal devices — cell phones, tablets and laptops. Did drone-sourced forensics come to mind, though? What about synthetic DNA? As sensors that transmit information back to the cloud become standard in most devices (and even ourselves), including our vehicles, appliances and smart buildings, businesses and our legal system are being inundated with an overwhelming amount of progressively more sophisticated information. The implications for data collection, preservation and analysis are immense.

Recently Amazon was compelled to turn over information from their voice-activated Echo device in relation to a murder case. In my observation, businesses are now trying to figure out their electronically stored information strategies not only for our current landscape, but for the fully interconnected decade to come.

4. FRCP changes are influencing corporate behavior

Business world adaptation to changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure continues. Legal departments are updating their playbook to address the renewed principles of Rule 26 and Rule 37(e) required to mitigate both cost and risk of e-discovery today, Overall, innovative teams are creating more defensible and proportional in-house preservation practices, to ensure compliance with all FRCP rules and earn favorable outcomes with the court. Influenced by the growth of ESI volume and the proliferation of relevant data sources, my impression is that businesses are looking to create flexible, adaptive strategies to accommodate the highly fluid environment our technology-embracing world has created.

5. Business ethics are a customer concern

Our featured keynote this year came from Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist best known for his work in covering the NSA surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden. Mr. Greenwald’s thought-provoking presentation focused on the inherent threats to personal privacy, our justice system and democracy from the potential misuse of advanced technology. In the light of the Snowden revelations, alongside frequent data exposures by Fortune 1000 companies, consumers have begun to demand technology companies demonstrate a commitment to the protection of their personal information. As a result, businesses have shifted their view of privacy, seeing it as a commercial imperative that is vital to the long term viability and profitability of their companies. Greenwald noted that a decade ago, technology companies were the leading cause of how privacy was compromised, but now they are the leaders in protecting privacy.

The resulting conversation and debate that followed by the audience was unlike anything I’ve seen at PREX. Attendees passionately explored what it means to have personal data gathered and safeguarded by businesses. The discussion of legal considerations of data use and impact on e-discovery permeated the remainder of the conference. It was heartening to see an engaged, intelligent community consider the long term implications of our use of technology and the responsibility of being an ethical corporate citizen.

I’m excited to see how these issues permeate our decisions and discussions in 2018. I’m already looking forward to PREX18!

[View source.]

Written by:

Zapproved LLC

Zapproved LLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.