A simplistic definition is that eDisclosure is all about the disclosure of electronic material. However we need to dig a little deeper into that statement of the obvious.
There are two parts to the definition; the words “disclosure” and “electronic material”. Let’s explore the second one in a little more detail. Electronic information refers to the “stuff” that is within emails, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slide shows. This is the level that most readers will need to interact with for eDisclosure. The term also includes databases, social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), digital audio such as recorded conversations in deal rooms, support centres et al, images, mobile phones, tablet devices (i.e. iPads and their ilk) and a host of other increasingly more exotic types/locations. All of this is known as Electronically Stored Information or ESI.
The definition of eDisclosure then becomes the process of identifying, collecting, processing, analysing, reviewing and presenting ESI for legal proceedings.
Because so much of the software in this area comes from the United States, it is as well to recognise the synonym eDiscovery, which is the American term for eDisclosure.
Faith Based Discovery
For the sake of completeness, eDisclosure is NOT the process of agreeing the electronic media by which information will be transferred. When disclosure was all about transferring images of pieces of paper between legal entities, there used to be discussions on format might be used for the images, and which kinds of physical media could be used to hold the images and their data, be it “floppy disks”, tapes or a memory stick. This discussion used to be incorrectly labeled as “eDisclosure”, and is mentioned here to dispel any legacy misunderstandings.