Yesterday, Apple had their annual fall gala, where they announced the new iPhone model (the ninth generation of this device, even though it’s called the iPhone 7). While some of the news was unexpected (Super Mario is coming to the iPhone), two things resonated with Wortzmans – people have downloaded over 140 billion apps from the App Store since 2008, and Apple has sold over one billion iPhones since its introduction nine years ago.
With over a billion iPhones (and another 1.5 billion other smartphones), almost 30% of the world’s population has one of these devices. In Canada, that number is more like 70%, or almost 3 out of every 4 people in the country (including babies) have a smart phone.
These devices run off apps, and apps, more than anything else, collect data. Lots of data. Pokémon Go, for instance, collects and sends location data to its creator, Niantic, who can turn around and sell it to other parties. The value of knowing where people under 25 (the vast majority of Pokémon Go users) hang out is worth a lot to marketing and retail firms.
Despite nine years of smart phones and eight years of apps, eDiscovery is still focused on office documents and email. Contents of smartphones, even if they are considered, are usually limited to emails and possibly instant messages. Is locating an individual at a specific time important to a matter? Is something a custodian may have posted in a snapchat conversation relevant? Would the fact that an employee viewed a record stored in the cloud only on their phone help move the litigation along? All of this information is stored on that rectangular block in people’s pockets.
Litigation is all about information – who said what when. More and more, information is being transmitted via smartphones. Don’t limit yourself to a 1990’s mentality when thinking about discovery. It’s time litigators moved into the 21st century.