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Posted on: February 04, 2016

in Blog

LegalTech 2016: With Great Technology Capabilities Comes Great Risk

This LegalTech 2016 update discusses increased privacy and data security risks due to advancement and use of technology in our personal and professional lives.

There is a perennial rejuvenation of themes at New York Legal Tech. Predictive coding stole the show in 2014. Information Governance was the new black in 2015. These themes and the issues and drivers surrounding them are still fresh in our minds, and we and our clients continue to pursue the advanced technologies and processes to make our work in eDiscovery more efficient.

Recaps from LegalTech New York 2014 and 2015

Data security, privacy, and big data analytics lead the issues this year. The judges’ panel in the opening keynote presentation at this year’s LegalTech discussed big data analytics and technology use in the courtroom, which was recapped in our previous blog. This blog will focus on the other major LegalTech 2016 themes; data security and privacy.

We have learned more about how white-hat hackers can use the Sprint phone network to remotely hack into a Jeep and “drive” it, and then use the vehicle’s network to find other devices to infiltrate. The implications abound for the Internet of Things (IoT), information security, laws against hacking, products liability, privacy, and theories of theft of intellectual property.

Privacy

We have learned more about the Internet of Things. Internet-connected consumer products are beyond the drawing boards and into the stores. They connect your refrigerator, air conditioning, security systems, babysitter and personal activity tracker to your iPhone or other personal computing or networking system.

Collectively, these devices create and store a wealth of information about your personal travels, preferences and purchasing. They represent a massive marketing and merchandising opportunity for the personal and very private information they throw off. They represent serious risks for financial and identity theft and just plain mischief.

The mass of information collected from these devices, from personal computing devices, and from personal buying history from credit cards and websites are a Big Data resource that can be mined in many ways. You can analyze them to refine and streamline your purchasing. Others can immediately target you for the things for which you’re shopping. Still others can look for openings in your security to steal enough information about you to impersonate you or fleece you.

Learn More about the Challenges of Handling Personal ESI for eDiscovery

Security

With technology being so heavily integrated into our daily lives, it is no wonder why personal security has become a concern. However, it recently became clear to the public just how fragile data security can be even in large corporations where it is made a priority. During the security breach of Sony Pictures in 2014, a group of hackers released thousands of documents with personal information, emails, and unreleased films from Sony. Less than a year later, hackers using the Sprint network to control cars was brought to the public attention. As a result of these data breaches, corporations have begun to focus more heavily on securing private information. Detailed policies on personal devices brought into work (otherwise known as a BYOD policy), securing information within the company’s firewall, encryption for the transfer of data, password regulations and other measures have been taken to ensure that confidential company information is not compromised. It is important to assess and understand potential risks within your corporation and take the necessary precautions to mitigate them.

Here in the US we express concerns about our privacy but nonchalantly give it up by uploading our personal physical activities and our every thought and feeling into social media.

Overlaid on the massive collection and distribution of personal and private information is the sudden chasm opened by the EU’s recent rejection of US Safe Harbor as an appropriate means to bring or store EU data in the US. Here in the US we express concerns about our privacy but nonchalantly give it up by uploading our personal physical activities and our every thought and feeling into social media. Our European counterparts are not so casual about personal privacy. As we give away more, what we are hearing is that they are preparing more emphatically to enforce the hard-won privacies that they hold dear. In the US, the privacy advocates fight harder against greater technological and corporate challenges.

Learn More about Data Security Precautions Corporations Can Take

Are not the data breaches and identity thefts and cancelled credit cards and hacked devices enough? Will something bigger have to happen here in the US to make us take our privacy and security more seriously? This is a good time to rejuvenate your thinking about these issues.

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