eDiscovery, the Cloud and Blockchain – How New Practices May Require a ‘Back to School’ Approach

Cloud platforms are beginning to create blockchain public ledgers of transactions and activities that occur on their platforms and distribute copies of those ledgers to the edge of their networks (and beyond).

Extract from an article by James Sherer and Nicole Sterling

In addition to the basic, initial questions e-discovery practitioners should be asking regarding client cloud providers (such as who is responsible for what when a client is utilizing a cloud platform or what visibility the client – and counsel – can have into the cloud environment), practitioners should now be considering what type of backups are occurring within the cloud as well as what manner of records are being kept – and by whom.

Specifically, regarding blockchain, practitioners might focus on the following to begin the discussion:

  • Is the cloud provider utilizing blockchain distributed ledger technology or practices to maintain logs, user records or even backup data?
  • What information is being kept in such blockchain-based records?
  • Is blockchain-based data anonymized, tokenized, or otherwise protected?
  • Are any blockchain records being distributed outside the client’s primary (or contractually defined) environment?
  • How, if at all, are the cloud provider’s and client’s information life cycles applied to those records?

These discussions often start with each client’s relationship with the cloud provider, as defined by service level agreements (SLAs) and the sometimes more granular performance guarantees (PGs).

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