Everything You Need to Know about Slack eDiscovery!

Slack e-Discovery
Last updated: 18 Aug, 2020

Slack is widely adopted as a workplace communication tool; more than 12 million users make 5+ billion actions per week. Today, in the legal landscape, Slack eDiscovery is becoming prominent. Whether you are a legal service provider, in-house/external counsel, or working with a corporation, you are likely aware of this astounding platform.

With data retention features and GDPR & CCPA compliance, you might sense the importance of a slack eDiscovery plan in place. To help you understand more about it, here’s is all you need to know about Slack eDiscovery that can help you foster the entire eDiscovery process.

What is Slack?

Considered as a preferred company-wide chatroom, Slack supports uninterrupted communication in real-time, chat logs, documents that can be easily stored and found, in contrast to reading email threads. When queries are resolved faster, and projects are handled through a centralized medium, overall employee productivity is likely to improve.

What Makes Slack Data Different?

Chat messages, shared documents, even edits and deletions are stored instantly within a single conversation. Most often, the availability of data in abundance leads to difficulty in organizing and validating it. Yes, with excellent communication solutions, Slack data sometimes become complicated. For eDiscovery purposes, ESI (electronically stored information) is preferred to be captured in a comprehensive format, that’s where slack offers easier data processing options for legal teams.

Slack – Disrupting Legal Discovery & Investigations

Slack is also sometimes called a very challenging platform for legal professionals of the modern era. In previous decades, legal professionals had to communicate through emails and use the same for transferring documents, images, PDFs, etc.

Legal teams are pretty much familiar with documents and electronic mailing but less with chat rooms. However, chat rooms are growing. According to one survey, around 20 % of businesses that utilized slack experienced a decline in email usage by 40 – 60%. Nowadays, if you are only sticking to emails, you’re missing out on a lot.

Slack makes discovery a little difficult for legal teams. Through several integrations, it gathers a substantial amount of data that is already stored in one place. You, as a user, can set your own data retention and deletion preferences. These further increase complications.

Exporting Slack Data

Slack data retrieval depends upon the type of plan you have opted for. Slack currently offers four primary plans:

  • Free plans that are widely used by smaller businesses
  • Standard plans that are designed for almost all businesses
  • Plus plans that allow companies to have more control over data
  • Enterprise plans, commonly used by large organizations

Slack allows business owners and administrators to export data from public channels. This data generally include public messages, files, archived channels, and logs showing integration activities. To access information on deletion and editing, or to obtain records from direct messages and private channels, the data retrieval process becomes even more difficult.

Whereas, enterprise plan holders can export all (public as well as private) data and may also use other integration applications to export, retain, and archive conversations and files.

How Do I Export Slack Messages?

There are multiple ways you can capture data from slack; however, you need to check the current retention settings first. Slack allows you to customize retention settings for chats and files as per your preferences, but default settings, while preventing data loss, retain everything. Whether you look for a direct message or an entire chat thread within a channel, you will find that as backlogs in Slack are secure.

Once you are sure that the data is being saved continuously, you can collect it by utilizing one of Slack’s Discovery APIs.

For large scale eDiscovery cases, Slack’s Discovery API can be the most useful. With its broad access scope, it gives you access to all data related to multiple workspaces within your account.

On the other hand, Slack’s Audit Logs API is best for small, smaller-scale, or internal investigations; it helps detect/spot security issues and suspicious activities.

Data Retention in Slack

With default settings, data is stored forever. However, Slack offers options to customize retention policies for messages and files.

You can set message retention policies to:

  • Retain everything, forever.
  • Retain all messages, but no revisions.
  • Delete messages and revisions (after a specified period).
  • Let users set their own retention policies.

Slack’s default settings allow the retention of all information. If administrators don’t make changes into retention policy as per their requirement, they might find themselves having the historical data of conversations occurred, including messages, reactions, integrations, etc.

The way data is retained in Slack will impact what comes out through export, and similarly, its usage value for investigations, discovery, legal research and writing, etc.

How Do Take Some Work Out of Legal Work?

  • Automate Routine Reviews with Workflow Builder

Workflow Builder offers a set of useful tools to automate daily processes. Users can use it to address requests quickly, gather project-related updates, and much more.

  • Collaborate with Outside Counsel in Shared Channels

Shared channels allow you to collaborate with outside counsel in Slack securely and enhance productivity easily.

  • A Tool for Friendly Reminders

LegalBot is a Slackbot that enables users to follow up with reminders concerning outstanding legal tasks, allowing users to focus on more critical jobs rather than remembering deadlines and similar aspects.

  • Streamline Commercial Legal Work with Troops

Salespersons, using Troops, can answer a couple of basic questions by just clicking the Legal Request button in Salesforce.

  • Adjourn Your Legal Team From Email and information Silos

By moving from emailing to chat rooms, you and your legal teams can collaborate efficiently and maintain projects in a more organized manner.

Conclusion

No doubt, Slack is one of the most popular and preferred tools used for company-wide communication purposes. It is a part of business technology that encourages collaboration, team building. It is a central hub where people work together, access helpful information, and utilize additional applications to streamline workflow and data processing. Companies across the globe use Slack to keep their workforce connected, their systems integrated, and to take their business forward.

Other than such tools and software, many legal professionals also take external support with their daily jobs. For instance, to get free from some of the most tiring and time-consuming legal processes, lawyers and law firms usually opt for legal process outsourcing. At Legal Support World, our core motive is to provide optimum support (through our quality legal support services) to our clients in legal and fulfill their requirements, helping them satisfy their clients. Know more about our specialized services, call us at +1 646 688 2821  or email at info@legalsupportworld.com

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