Software providers are making big money building apps that make sure that your electronic messages self-destruct. The first of these, like Snapchat, were aimed at the consumer market and helped to make embarrassing selfies less risky. More recent entries, such as Cyber Dust, take aim at the business market, and even tout the money saving benefits of ensuring that nothing sent or received on their service is discoverable.
In a recent piece in the New York Law Journal, Peter Isajiw and Anthony Del Giudice provide a well-balanced assessment of the legal implications of business messages that auto-destruct (see article: http://tinyurl.com/Self-Destructing-Messages). Is this a good business practice designed to keep information confidential, or it is instead a ruse to avoid scrutiny? That question will turn on the facts of each case. Ultimately, Isajiw and Del Giudice conclude that this is yet another technology with which lawyers had better get familiar.
We see another side to the story. Corporate information is being accumulated faster than it can be managed. Many employees feel the need to keep their “own” copies of important documents and messages to have them easily accessible. This information is unmanaged, and often under-protected, which creates an enormous cyber-security risk. If your organization is infiltrated or exfiltrated, and those records taken, you will likely not even know what has been lost.
E-mail has become more of a curse than a blessing, and is a leading cause of corporate information bloat. We urge our Canadian clients to be information lean – and support defensible deletion as part of a robust information governance strategy. Whether it is self-destructing messages, or another more traditional information governance approach, anything that reduces your information risk is a good thing. Just make sure that what you are doing is both reasonable and legally defensible.
On Thursday February 26, 2015, Susan Wortzman will moderate a panel of members of The Sedona Conference and Working Group 7 (Sedona Canada) to introduce the much-anticipated Second Edition of The Sedona Canada Principles. During the session, members of the WG7 Steering Committee who led the extensive drafting effort for this comprehensive update to The Sedona Canada Principles will present their key updated recommendations, including: The application of proportionality to the discovery of Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”); a renewed emphasis on the concept of cooperation in developing a joint discovery plan, and a proposed departure from the “meet-and-confer” practice as this term is typically used; the existing and potential future usage of technological tools to streamline the e-discovery process and obviate many e-discovery disputes; the application of privacy in various e-discovery contexts, including social media, employer-issued devices, and criminal investigations; and the application of cost-shifting, and sanctions for e-discovery abuses, in today’s Canadian litigation environment.
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Cybersecurity got a boost from the federal government in the 2015 federal budget that was tabled yesterday. The budget proposes to provide $36.4 million over five years, starting in 2015–16, to support the government’s efforts to ensure Canada’s “vital” cyber systems remain safe and reliable. In doing so, the budget states that : “Canadians are embracing the many advantages that the Internet offers, but our increasing reliance on cyber technologies makes us more vulnerable to those who would seek to attack and undermine our digital infrastructure and threaten our national security, economic prosperity and way of life.” The new legislation will require operators of vital cyber systems to implement cyber security plans, meet robust security outcomes for their systems and report cyber security incidents to the Government of Canada.
The budget funding is intended to provide enhanced support to operators through the development and dissemination of cyber security tools, security information and expertise to implement the new legislation.
The funding shows the federal government’s commitment to the cybersecurity plan it announced in 2010. While the funding is spread over five years, hopefully it will encourage more Canadian businesses to make cybersecurity initiatives a priority. If you need assistance drafting or updating your own cybersecurity plan, contact Wortzmans.
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