Don't Forget These Sources of eDiscovery

As you can imagine, electronic data can be found in many different ways and many different sources.  Back in the old days, you only had to deal with paper but today data can be found in places you wouldn't normally think of.  Obviously, you can find data in active sources such as computer hard drives, networks, emails and other places which are easily accessible.  What about other sources?

Here are a few other places you can possibly find eDiscovery (from

Cloud Storage

Data created and stored on cloud servers, ranging from software and applications such as Google Drive and social media accounts, have grown exponentially in the past several years. Cloud providers have their own policies for accessing data, but e-discovery technology solutions have the ability to integrate with many of the most popular cloud services, making collection easier than even three years ago.

Mobile Devices

Collecting data from mobile devices often requires sophisticated tools and highly specialized expertise, often requiring consultants. But as more and more companies have embraced bring your own device (BYOD) policies, they have to be prepared to preserve and collect ESI from call logs, text messages, instant messaging, geolocation data, and other applications. 

Offline Storage

Data that is no longer in active use but is stored or archived. Even though offline data can't be accessed over a shared server, collecting it usually presents fairly minimal challenges as long as you know the physical location of the data and the system on which it's stored.


Traditional backup tapes or disaster recovery systems are designed to store data in the event that it must be restored. These systems compress files and are not easily searchable or accessible and therefore they tend to present significant collection hurdles.

Hidden Files

Previously deleted or fragmented files that exist on various systems and are usually not readily visible to regular system users. These files are highly inaccessible and attempting to recover them requires specialized tools.

Knowing what type of data and where it is located takes planning if you want to make sure you can obtain everything you need to support your case.  In most incidents, it might be beneficial to think about reaching out to a litigation technology expert to ensure that you are following the proper steps and procedures in collecting eDiscovery.   It takes more than just grabbing a hard drive today, you will also need to find these other sources in addition to properly preserving the data.


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