June 22, 2011

Facebook is now totally Ryppled! And, what that may mean for future eDiscovery

Copyright 2011 Cary J. Calderone

A few weeks after commenting on Facebook's latest big lawsuit and the email evidence involved, I mentioned how a product like Rypple, may effect a company's data retention practices (link to post).  Now that Facebook has announced they are using Rypple, I cannot help but wonder how future discovery requests in a lawsuit may have to differentiate between a "Like" designation and a "Thumbs Up" or, a Smiley Face?  You can just imagine a cross-examination in court:  "Isn't it true Mr. Boss, on this project you gave the former Disgruntled Employee, not one, but TWO Smiley Faces and a Thumbs Up!!!"   "Let's bring up the digital display so the jury can see the Smiley Faces."   Will the evidence of Smiley Faces be in native or some other format?  Do we care?  We should, and here's why.

Screenshot of Rypple
Gamification of work practices and procedures is gaining traction.   One of the main selling points to Rypple is that better feedback will make for more productive employee/manager relationships and ultimately, lead to fewer disgruntled employees and more productive and collaborative work relationships.  Win win we hope.   At the same time, we lawyers can always anticipate the potential for a problem with an employee.  So, what kind of Legal Hold and Collection challenges will you have if you are using any "gamification" tools?   Is it time to be proactive and revisit your Computer Usage Policies and Retention practices?   Definitely!  On the bright side, if you do the work now,  then maybe one day, after you contact your attorney for a potential legal matter, you'll be rewarded with a big Smiley Face...  :)

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