Compliance and Search Engines
Disclaimer: We are not lawyers - please include your own legal counsel in legal matters.
Search Engines are becoming more important in the eDiscovery and legal space. Companies are turning to search to meet a number of challenges:
- Companies ordered to produce ALL materials related to a subject
- Having legally airtight reasons for not producing said materials
- Searching through all the materials received as the result of a subpoena, AKA "legal war room"
- Avoiding legal problems by proactively spotting them much earlier, with vocabulary analysis and search analytics
- Legal requirements to maintain document level security within the intranet
Item # 2 is particularly troublesome. A judge might NOT accept excuses like "our spider wasn't configured to index that server", or "oh, our search engine can only 'iterate' through 2,000 results". These technical excuses, while possibly true, can open a company up to additional penalties - they are not much better than the old "the dog ate my homework".
We also believe item # 4 will become a legal requirement in years to come. At this time, companies are sometimes shielded by claiming they were not aware or informed of a problem. We strongly believe that customer and employee search activity will eventually constitute "defacto notification".
Some search vendors are retooling their engines to fit these new niches, while others are actually acquiring entire companies to fill out their product offerings. Meanwhile, other engines are known or suspected of not being capable of meeting these challenges.