At the recent PREX15 eDiscovery conference in Oregon, leading jurists and eDiscovery experts discussed best practices in data protection and preservation. The Global Data Protection and Preservation panel, chaired by Bill Butterfield, a partner at Hausfeld LLP, focused on global data protection and expanding privacy requirements, and panelists shared insights into how corporations can balance privacy issues (such as access), storage, data protection and movement of data across borders with the rights of individuals that vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Regardless of where a company and its subsidiaries reside, it must handle preservation, transfer and production of relevant documents according international data protection, privacy and transfer laws. In a recent article in Legaltech News, Chris DiMarco shared five key takeaways from the panel discussion:
- Before beginning collection, be sure you understand exactly what regional laws apply. Determine any potential adverse effects from collecting, processing or transferring data.
- Always act in good faith, document your processes and be able to demonstrate that you considered legal boundaries in the event those boundaries are inadvertently crossed in the discovery process.
- Ensure that you understand where all of your company’s data is stored and that you fully understand the geographic reach of all regional offices in the event that litigation is initiated.
- Have a communications plan in place for those who have access to information, as well as to address media or other inquiries.
- In the event of litigation, time is limited, so collect all you can domestically to narrow the scope of discovery as you assess the impact of any international laws that may affect information collection from other areas.
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