Lawyers, like everyone else, have been quick to adapt to use of smartphones for business use. Having a little computer in your pocket that is attached to the internet makes it easy for lawyers to reach and respond to clients and keep up with industry news. Law firms have become dependent on this technology and as a result smartphones have become a ubiquitous device. Since the time of the reign of blackberry, lawyers have been handed smartphones for company use on a regular basis.
But what is happening to these phones once the firms are done with them? More specifically, what is happening to all the client data that is collected on these phones while they were in use? Large firms usually have an enterprise solution for handling old smartphones. But it is less likely that the same is the case with smaller firms.
A recent study by the Blanco Technology Group revealed that data is sometimes left behind on second hand devices. They found that one-third of discarded smartphones had residual data left on them. Of the mobile devices with residual data, over half was left there after an attempted deletion. This means that even for those who were trying to protect their data by deleting it, they were unsuccessful and did not realize it.
For lawyers, this type of liability can make the stakes much higher. Possibly leaving confidential client information on a device can be extremely detrimental. This means that law firms, large and small, will need to take extra steps to make sure that their mobile devices are wiped clean. This includes not just smartphones, but also tablets and hard drives as well.
Lawyers will need to upgrade their tech savvy to make sure that their data and their clients stay safe.
Article via Above The Law, 8 October 2015
Photo: The iphone 4 via Jorge Quinteros [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]