The Metaverse: A New Frontier for eDiscovery? † apply

In October 2021, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media giant would rename the company as Meta and focus on developing Metaverse, a digital platform that provides three-dimensional spaces in which individuals can socialize, play, work, learn and shop. The Metaverse leverages a variety of technologies, including virtual reality and augmented reality, which the parent company describes as “the next evolution in social connection.”

Meta has put everything into the project, spending $10 billion on it in 2021. While its success is yet to be seen, investment banks like Citi have said the Metaverse could one day be worth as much as $13 trillion and have up to 5 billion users. Multinationals such as Walmart, Nike and Microsoft also see the promise of the platform and are investing in their digital presence in the space.

As Meta prepares to take its users to the new frontier of Metaverse, what should internal attorneys and paralegals know about its impact on eDiscovery? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Existing eDiscovery principles apply to the metaverse.

While the concept of a metaverse may be new, the electronically stored information, or ESI, associated with it probably won’t be. Those in the metaverse can expect their interactions to produce data in some form, be it chat logs, audio or video files.

The production of such data poses a second problem: storage.
Companies engaged in the metaverse must have ways of preserving information when reasonably aware of pending lawsuits, as well as a way of collecting, reviewing, and making it available in the event of a discovery.

Companies and their legal teams need to know which data points are collected by the service, where the data is stored, the technical owner of the database, the company or service’s retention policy, and how to handle that data. † Of this.

The metaverse has no immediate impact on eDiscovery.

During the growth of the eDiscovery industry, there have been significant technological advancements as well as several radical changes in the types of ESIs generally expected in eDiscovery exchanges. For example, we have seen the rise of modern ISE of mobile phones. One thing we can all agree on is that the eDiscovery world is slow to catch up with technological innovation.

Companies are often slow to adopt new technologies on a large scale. As new trends emerge, we begin to see them more often in eDiscovery and strive to answer the unique questions that arise. Many fundamental questions about ownership, storage, and types of information collected are usually answered in one form or another long before eDiscovery vendors have to sort them out.

Collaboration tools provide an analog.

While Meta aims to fundamentally change the way we interact with the world, there are clear similarities with collaboration technologies that have made strides in the workplace in recent years, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams. Our previous suggestions for tackling new workplace collaboration tools remain the same for the Metaverse.

Just as businesses must ensure that their legal retention processes address the specific needs of their collaboration tools, they must also ensure that their policies and processes are consistent with the retention and retention of metaverse data.

The eDiscovery industry will learn more about Metaverse as it is used. We have already weathered the technological changes and are quickly mastering the challenges ahead. We are confident that the same will happen with the Metaverse.

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