Sensitive data, such as that of research companies, credit card companies, and medical or hospital facilities, is protected so long as it remains with the company or facility that generates the data. However, even these companies have to take multiple steps to protect their data, including building military-strength firewalls and hiring legal hackers to test their security protocols. What happens when your company (that produces sensitive data) is sued for a class action issue? How can you protect your data as it is transferred to lawyers and witnesses? It is difficult but doable.
Four Ways To Protect Sensitive Data
Limit Access and Pass the Data Through Lawyers
When sensitive data has to be passed to expert witnesses, you should do what you can to limit the access. You can request that the expert witnesses only have access to the data through a lawyer’s computer, and then have the expert witness view only the necessary data via the lawyer’s computer in the lawyer’s office. In addition, grant the lawyer or legal team in the case limited access to the data so that very few people have access and only on a “need to know” basis.
Request Signed Copies Of Privacy Documents Of Everyone Who Wants Access
Sensitive data is proprietary information. Only those who need to access it and/or need to know what the data says should have access. If your company has a really good lawyer or legal team, you can create a privacy statement that requires that any and all people who want or need access to company data have to sign this document. Breaches of the agreement allow you to prosecute the offending party to the fullest extent of the law, and that includes everyone from the lowest company representative to the expert witnesses in any class action suits in which your company is involved.
Change Passwords To Data Frequently
Until the lawsuit is resolved, you may want to change company passwords frequently. This disallows any transference of data from expert witnesses who might otherwise not be quite as honest or willing to comply with company policies with regards to protecting company information. The passwords are transmitted to the lawyers involved every time there is a change, and only when someone else needs to access company data. This may make things complicated for everyone in the company on a daily basis, but it is the price you pay to prevent security breaches during an ongoing class action suit.
Consider Transferring Frequently-Referenced Documents To A Thumb Drive
Last, but not least, if your lawyers and the other lawyers involved in the case frequently reference specific documents, it may be possible to download these documents onto a thumb drive. That way, no one has access to the main data system for your company, and you do not have to take quite as many precautions.
All of the above precautions are still a good idea, at least during the course of the trial. With the specific information on a thumb drive, copies can be made to give to expert witnesses and limit how far the data travels.
Laurence Banville. Esq is the managing partner and face of Banville Law. Laurence is licensed to practice law in the state of New York. Originally from Ireland, Banville moved to the United States of America where he worked at law firms, refining his litigation and brief writing crafts. He is also the recipient of the Irish Legal 100 and the Top 40 Under 40 awards.
Law Practice Management Software
Latest posts by Law Practice Management Software (see all)
- Estate Planning Checklists and Sample Documents - February 18, 2019
- Why a Client Portal Can Make or Break Your Legal Software - February 15, 2019
- The Family Law Software for Mac Users That Blends Form and Function - February 11, 2019