“Data Search” and e-discovery are terms that spring up often and often in the context of compliance to legal mandates. How does cloud computing facilitate the process? Here are a few insights into what cloud service providers do to help customers keep their data discoverable for legal purposes.
Cloud computing challenges all assumptions about physical boundaries. This increases the need to protect the data and secure the privacy of individuals who entrust their personal information to business entities. This drives the need for new types of metadata that can ensure data integrity, security and privacy of the individual in an increasingly virtualized environment. The new metadata must create new types of relationships with content in an environment where sharing is integral to computing. New supports and safeguards must be evolved as new dangers emerge and evolve if legal mandates have to be fulfilled.
Electronic data in the cloud may take many forms. These include evidentiary material in the form of telephone logs, transactional data, emails, instant messaging traffic, all manner of corporate communications, documents, records, video and sound recordings, and any other kind of relevant textual or non textual information. All this material must be securely stored, easily accessible, formally indexed, uniquely identified and e-discoverable. There must be a common, flexible, extensible framework that facilitates deduplication, conversion, evaluation, summarization and storage of this information in retrievable electronic formats.
Cloud software systems store all the above information in encrypted formats and generate metadata containing document properties for ease of discovery. Metadata is data about data and is a time tested system for data discovery in the world of computing. Complex metadata is becoming the foundation for targeted advertising as well as mandated legal data discovery systems. Analytical support for this process may include limited entity extraction (eg email header) for pattern matching purposes and to cluster documents according to identified topics. Review solutions may permit user defined document sets with time based selection controls. Text analytics may discern important entity relationships and extract these features for classification and analysis of documents in storage.
We, at Backup Technology, believe that the legal discovery challenge is not in the data storage, but in the generation of metadata. Millions of users with trillions of files and billions of generations can recover the smallest bit of data from the cloud server if the metadata is properly generated and securely stored in the system. Backup Technology has proven the potential of its technology by ensuring that the right kind and quality of metadata is generated every time a bit of data is uploaded to its servers. Our team knows how it can be scaled up, reliably stored and quickly discovered.