In our technology-dependant society, we know that many things we interact with automatically create and consume information about us.

We’re on the cusp of even more. Imagine your kitchen refrigerator prompting you when you are in the grocery store to pick up a dozen eggs. This may sound like science fiction, but it’s here already (see this blog). Almost every piece of technology we interact with either already records information or soon will.

What does all this have to do with e-discovery? Reviewing and producing information in the legal context starts with preservation and collection. Ten years ago, that meant copying data from one hard drive to another. Five years ago, it also meant downloading text messages from a phone. But how do you obtain data that will tell you how much time a former employee who is suing for wrongful dismissal was spending at the digitally connected water cooler?

Steven Watson of Intel recently spoke at the ASU-Arkfield Conference on eDiscovery and Digital Evidence. He presented five challenges that legal practitioners face when dealing with the interconnected world we live in. Among the more pertinent were staying up with current technology developments and encouraging the integration, or at least consideration, of data collection in any technological devices.

e-Discovery is no longer limited to emails and spreadsheets. Lawyers should consider a much broader array of information sources when contemplating an affidavit of documents.