Self-data collection has always been a highly debated topic for organizations, many of which have struggle with whether or not they can effectively handle it themselves. There is a compelling temptation to collect using in house resources, such as in-house IT, or in some cases employee custodians.
In many of these cases the risks of this behavior should be strongly considered. What may seem to appear to be an efficient solution that would provide a timely, and compliant collection may cause unforeseen issues. These issues in the end may result in costly challenges that may impact the institutions reputations.
In the simplest terms, collecting in-house could potentially lead to an increased risk. These risks can run the gamut from missed deadlines, errors and omission, to possible fraud.
And now, with the pending adoption of amendment 14 to Rule 902 of the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE), the requirements imposed on organizations to properly collect have become much more rigid. The high standard and corresponding downside of not complying with the requirements imposed on collections created by Rule 902(14) can be avoided by making the decision instead to go with a proven and certified outside forensic expert, able to provide a consistent and defensible product, while also meeting and/or exceeding the bar imposed by FRE Rule 902(14).
These new rules have significantly increased the burden to produce a documented process that be authenticated by a digital identification process by a qualified technician. Ultimately, getting caught up in the self-collection related issues more often than not slows down production and muddies the matter.
Instead, engaging with a vetted, reliable, and certified external forensic professional to handle the collection will negate the adverse effects of noncompliance with pending FRE Rule 902(14) while also providing consistency, and adding a valuable resource to accurately respond to inquiries from the court and/or opposing parties, and ensuring compliance in the most efficient manner, providing the best overall result.