Interview: Dr Donald Macfarlane of Hanzo talks about collecting dynamic web content

A wide range of developers and others bring their own skills and technology to the Relativity ecosystem in addition to Relativity’s free-standing use. Relativity is also good at giving me the opportunity to interview people from these organisations, giving me the chance to hear at first hand what they are doing.

This interview with Dr Donald Macfarlane of Hanzo was actually recorded in 2017. Although Hanzo has substantially enhanced its products since then, the core purposes and capabilities described in Don Macfarlane’s interview remain the same.

Hanzo’s primary function is the collection and review of dynamic data, that is, social, collaborative and web-based data of the kind which does not stand still in the way that paper and email do. The resulting data, and particularly conversation data, is generally intended to be ephemeral and is as far from the old idea of a record as you can get. The most usual sources are Facebook, Twitter, Confluence, and Slack as well as websites.

The context can be eDiscovery, investigations or compliance – anything where it is necessary to produce primary evidence from a changing source. Compliance usually involves a continuing obligation rather than a snapshot. When a regulator wants to know that an organisation is keeping track of certain types of information, Hanzo enables its clients to be ready in advance and to be able to produce the information proactively. When a regulator wants to see data for a particular purpose or period, they have often already seen it as part of the organisation’s continuing compliance obligation.

Don Macfarlane described the usual process: data is identified and an archive file is created; it is then exported as a load file and ingested into Relativity where it can be seen as a PDF or in the relevant native viewer. It then goes through the review trail like any other document. Courts are generally unwilling to accept screenshots as evidence of the particular state of data at a particular time. The combination of Hanzo and Relativity makes this unnecessary.

I asked Don Macfarlane if lawyers were becoming self-starting on this, seeking out ways of solving what must be a continuing problem for them. Don Macfarlane says that the influence quite often comes from clients and the lawyers then (generally) want a third party to collect it.

The data collected in this way can often make a case or settle it, Don Macfarlane says. Either way, he adds, it is a win.


About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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