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Enterprise Search, 2nd Edition by Martin White

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Chapter 17. eDiscovery

Even in organizations that pride themselves on operational excellence, things can go wrong. In 2013, there was a public outcry in the United Kingdom when it was discovered that meat products that were ostensibly beef had been adulterated with horsemeat. All the major supermarket chains found themselves under immense public and governmental pressure to explain how this had happened and to remove the adulterated products from sale. Tracking back through the electronic document trails was an immense task and yet essential to being able to reassure customers that this was a one-off occurrence and that it could not happen again. Motor manufacturers have faced similar problems with tracking down the source of parts that do not meet design standards. The scale of these document trails is immense. In November 2014, a court case in London heard that Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the News of the World, had ordered the deletion of over three million emails sent during the period of her editorship.

When things do go wrong, a court case may be the outcome. At this point, lawyers for both sides of the case will want to find out exactly who knew about the issue, when they knew about it, and what decisions were made. However, the requirement to maintain a complete inventory of documents relevant to a particular business issue might not necessarily stem solely from legal concerns. Internal compliance audits may also require the identification of documents related ...

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