Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 5.14.03 PMWhat are the current trends in forensic investigations for cross-border matters? Head of Forensics – Erick Gunawan, looks at the constant evolution in data types and volumes, and the ever-tightening data privacy laws and regulatory intervention.


Ever-evolving data types and volumes

Technology has assisted our lives and made things very efficient, but with more software, smart applications and devices, it has actually made things more complicated for forensic collection. There is an ever-increasing amount of data to be considered for relevancy.

Traditionally, forensic teams mainly used emails and possibly some internal finance and expense systems to look at during the collection phase. As mobile phones were more widely adopted and more people started using social media, it meant significant data started being saved onto devices. Now lawyers and investigators look to these devices for relevant information.

When dealing with significant amounts of data, it is important to contemplate the variety of data that is generated. There may be emails, WhatsApp messages, WeChat etc, depending on the preferences of the jurisdiction in which the data is found. It is necessary to find one, efficient way to review these different types of data.

Stricter data privacy laws and greater regulatory intervention

When it comes to multi-jurisdiction engagement, whether for investigation or eDiscovery, there will always be issues with data protection laws in various locations. Different countries will have different laws when it comes to data protection or privacy.

Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 5.09.51 PM

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is obviously relevant to any organisations that have offices in Europe, but it actually goes beyond that. For example, if your clients are storing any data for any EU residents then that organisation would be subject to GDPR as well.

When engaging in any data collection, it’s important to discern whether it’s necessary to comply with GDPR, and if so, what steps need to be taken to ensure that the only data collected is that potentially relevant for the matter as opposed to collecting everything which was the procedure back in the heyday of discovery. Generally, forensic teams will over-collect to some extent to ensure that important documents are not missed, but with the privacy changes, it is important to understand the laws and collect only what is relevant.

In China, data privacy is very important. In cross-border litigation, when collecting data from China, there are very strict rules that have to be followed before data can be taken out of China for review. For example, to review data from China in Australia, it is necessary to go through formal state secret screening first.

Penalties for breach can include the death penalty so this is not a step that should be underestimated. For these reasons, it is important that your digital forensic team have experience and understand how to manage collections in China appropriately.

Collecting data in cross-border matters is complex, constantly changing and governed by strict laws and regulations. It is a process best left to the experts to ensure that the process is done efficiently. cost-effectively and without breaching any laws.


Law In Order
Established in 1999, Law In Order is the leading supplier of end to end document and digital solutions to the legal industry providing expert litigation and arbitration support through our cost-effective document production, expert discovery management and specialist eArbitration services. Law In Order has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and India that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


By Erick Gunawan


Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 3.34.17 PM
3 Phillip Street, #17-01, Royal Group Building, Singapore 048693
T: (65) 6714 6655

Unit 901, 9/F, Beautiful Group Tower, 74-77 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
T: (852) 5803 0000

Related Articles by Firm
Data collection and early case assessment for investigations
Data collection and analysis for investigations is very different to collection for discovery or review. This article discusses the differences; how Early Case Assessment (ECA) can assist and the benefits of using review technology ...
Spotlight on eDiscovery
Many people are still confused about what electronic discovery encompasses ...
Will we see the end of Keywords in eDiscovery?
With the advances in Technology Assisted Review (TAR), it raises questions as to whether keywords still have a place in eDiscovery ...
How to Make Data Collection More ‘Effective’
Data can be collected efficiently, but if relevant data is not collected then the case will not come together.
Information Governance: Preserving Data and Being Prepared for Investigation
Organisations need to ensure their rules around information governance are being enforced. Many US organisations have an information governance officer in their IT, legal ...
How to speak IT
Ideally, everyone should have a basic understanding of the company’s IT infrastructure, not least because as more companies digitise, the risk of cyber threats increases. A cyberattack can come from anywhere ...
Computer Forensics and the Rise of the Drone
With more people being confined to their homes in different parts of the globe, hobbyists will be finding new uses for their drones ...
Redactions? How to Ensure There are no Nasty Surprises
With recent headlines highlighting the damage and embarrassment that can be caused by poorly redacted documents, it is no wonder many firms and corporates are turning to legal document management specialists to secure their redactions ...
Self-Collection Risks
When digital evidence is required at the start of a matter, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment and start rushing to gather the evidence but this is a key time to step back, take a moment ...
What Happens After the Dawn Raid?
The dawn raid has led to the forensic collection of 100,000 documents, now safely secured on a hard drive. What is the process from here? It’s important to plan your strategy in advance to minimise downtime, extract relevant documents and ...
Bringing eDiscovery In-House? Four Tips to Get You Started
With an increase in litigation and in costs for document review, more and more companies are considering bringing parts, if not all, of the eDiscovery process in house ...
A Lawyer’s Future is Looking Sharp with Electronic Hearings
The benefits of running an efficient collection and forensic process extends all the way to the hearings room ...
Forensic investigations, the role of corporate counsel and the rise of information governance
Head of Forensics – Erick Gunawan, discusses the Role of Corporate Counsel in the context of litigation or investigation and the increasing importance of information governance ...
Adopting eDiscovery for internal investigations
In-house counsel are often called on to manage an internal investigation. How can you effectively plan for and manage these investigations? We explore how electronic discovery (eDiscovery) tools help you mitigate risk and achieve your fact-finding mission.
The evidence collector that’s always with you
It is an integral part of our life these days and an item that is rarely further than arm’s reach ...
Related Articles
IHC Magazine: June 2024 issue with focus on ESG
Welcome to the latest edition of the IHC Magazine which is directly distributed to over 40,000 legal professionals including more than 17,000 in-house counsel in Asia and Middle East. In this edition of the IHC Magazine, we delve into a topic of ...
Related Articles by Jurisdiction
Latest Articles
IHC Magazine: June 2024 issue with focus on ESG
Welcome to the latest edition of the IHC Magazine which is directly distributed to over 40,000 legal professionals including more than 17,000 in-house counsel in Asia and Middle East. In this edition of the IHC Magazine, we delve into a topic of ...