At the Ontario e-Discovery Institute 2015 conference in Toronto, Maura Grossman, of Counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York, announced that, “talk was the next text” effectively predicting that audio files were the next big challenge for e-Discovery. With every customer service call being recorded for “quality control purposes” and all verbal instructions around trading being logged, the future seemed like it was already upon us.
Facebook has now pronounced that it will be 100% video in 5 years if the current trend away from text posts continues. The implications are staggering. Facebook is a symptom of the broader move away from typed content. Their five-year window suggests a massive shift in all aspects of on-line communication. First, file sizes alone will create exponential growth in data storage requirements. Hardware will have to be able to handle heavy streaming, and bandwidth will have to supply reliable presentation. But those are technical issues. What about the fact that video requires audio? Will we all have to retreat to headphones for all social networking, or put up with a constant background of Donald Trump sound bites? Neither sounds particularly appealing.
There are also some pretty serious implications that are not easily addressed. We can easily translate text into other languages, making content universally (with some limitations) accessible. It is hard to imagine how that will work with social video. Search engines will need to up their games - we will need to search within videos to find what we are looking for. From the perspective of e-discovery, this will require a shift in tools, processes and decision-making around relevance (is the whole video relevant if only one minute is germane) privilege and redaction, and will complicate the proof of authenticity and integrity of evidence.
There is no doubt that technology has a solution for all of this - and Wortzmans has been watching as the pace of change increases. The five-year window that Facebook has predicted is the most aggressive we have heard. If they are right, hold on – we are in for quite a transformational ride.