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Crystal Ball or Magic 8-Ball? 4 E-Discovery & Privacy Predictions for 2020

Created on January 10, 2020

Content Manager at Exterro

Predicting the future is difficult. That may seem like the understatement of the year, so far—but that doesn’t stop people from trying. Over the years, experts have made predictions of all sorts using their own data sets, algorithms, gut instincts, or just pure imagination. And given the somewhat murky outlook for 2020 in terms of new privacy rules, we thought we might give it a try—with the help of some friends of ours, of course.

Below, we present to you four burning questions, and a teaser of our prediction for each. Our predictions include quotes from some of the brightest legal, e-discovery, and data privacy minds across the country. To get the full predictions, download the full piece for free!

Q: What’s the most valuable step that AI can take to make e-discovery activities more efficient?

Prediction: The idea of Artificial Intelligence is consistently idealized as the answer to many of life’s problems because it’s able to predict our needs based on our habits, and act on those needs by solving problems for us. Although AI as it pertains to e-discovery technology has become vastly more powerful over the last five years, some human involvement is still required to ensure that the technology is indeed acting intelligently.

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Q: What impact might the GDPR and CCPA have on the scope of discovery?

Prediction: New data privacy laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the newly-launched California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) create new challenges for existing litigation law. While some privacy rules are fairly simple to incorporate into existing regulatory structures, some new requirements are likely to butt heads with e-discovery processes, creating new challenges and the need for new solutions. 

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Q: How Draconian will future data privacy regulations be?

Prediction: In the U.S., California has set the bar for consumer privacy regulations with the CCPA. In some ways, this acts as a baseline for future privacy laws—but it’s hard to say how fair or stringent it is right now. Two federal laws introduced by both Republicans and Democrats seek to strengthen some components of the CCPA, while weakening other provisions that might be seen as too burdensome.

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Q: What role will e-discovery software/AI technology play in the next 5 years for in-house legal departments?

Prediction: As we touched on in the first prediction, AI will take steps forward in 2020. While, for example, review technology may never reach the point where it fully replaces human capabilities, improved accuracy and earlier identification of what document production will look like can both help decrease costs. However, for law firms, it may mean that there’s a reduction in staff as well: Technology helps make life easier, and provides services at cheaper prices—but that’s potentially at the expense of staff that might otherwise be involved in document review, or with some other step in the e-discovery process.

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