If this week has been short on visible output, it has been a busy one for the preparation of things to come.
On Tuesday, we had the prep call for the International Panel at Relativity Fest. Relativity Fest is a virtual event this year, running from 21-23 September, with a mixture of live and pre-recorded sessions. The International Panel is to be recorded, and I am the moderator. The speakers are Meribeth Banaschik of EY in Germany, Inés Rubio of BSI in Dublin, Karyn Harty of McCann FitzGerald in Dublin, Jonathan Armstrong of Cordery in London and David Horrigan of Relativity.
Much of our time, inevitably, will be spent on privacy matters, with Privacy Shield, Schrems II/III and CCPA to talk about. We will also cover Data Subject Access Requests and other things from the place where privacy or data protection meet discovery.
We also hope to talk about subjects made topical by cases or by current events, such as self-collection of data and the collection and review of video meetings data.
In addition, I recorded an interview in anticipation of Relativity Fest. The style is the same as the ones I have done for many years, with my sons as technical support, in which I interview someone about some aspect of eDiscovery or its related subjects.
It took us two-and-a-half hours to set it all up in my room, with three cameras, four lights, three audio devices and the requisite comms links.
You might say that we need only a webcam at each end and Zoom in the middle. Certainly you can do it like that, but the aim is to replicate as closely as possible the style and quality which we have developed over the years, and you can’t do that by just pressing “Record” on a Zoom link.
The set-up is non-trivial – until you compare it with the alternative, which is to lug all that kit to Heathrow, fly at least two of us across the Atlantic, and set it all up in Chicago.
One of the many unforeseen benefits of the Covid lockdown is that it has accelerated better ways of doing things like this for less effort and less cost. The trick is to try and maintain the output quality.
I find these remote interviews quite nerve-wracking, I have to say, compared with the live version – live interviews are relaxed affairs, at least the way we do them, designed as a friendly chat rather than hard-hitting journalism, and with knowledgable and generally amiable people.
The people are the same when doing it remotely, but that adds various elements: the risk of comms failure (I once had that when moderating a webinar, and the experience scarred me – see Virgin nearly screws up my webinar); the fact that I am not looking at the person with whom I am speaking (the camera we record onto is not the webcam, so I must look at that camera and not at the person on the webcam); the fact that no one but me hears all of it (the interviewee’s voice is piped into my ear, not into the room, to avoid feedback, so I don’t have a third party to point out if something sounded wrong as I do when we are all in the same place.
It beats trooping across the Atlantic by miles (3,945 miles to be precise), however, and we aim to do much more of it.