Meet X1 Social Discovery

Social media, website, and webmail collection is now possible with the addition of X1 Social Discovery

It wasn’t too long ago that I was “collecting” website evidence with the Adobe Professional web capture feature. I wasn’t alone; there wasn’t another tool I could use that would work in a forensic manner. Case law had not caught up with technology and we did what we could to preserve whatever website data was needed. Shortly after this time, collection needs grew for sources like Facebook and Tumblr, and only continued to grow. Over the years, there have been many attempts to create better ways of collection for social media data, but none compare to X1 Social Discovery’s ease of use and truly comprehensive social collection software.

X1 Social Discovery provides a case-centric workflow that includes searching, collection, analysis, export, and production functionality. Data is presented in a searchable format, along with forensically sound metadata–a welcome addition of information that is simply not possible through image capturing. Using X1, I was able to collect my social media data along with multiple websites’ information. The process was simple and I had little assistance from their application’s help links. As I’m sure we can all attest to, the easier an application is to use, the more the application will be used–a critical need for the success of any application.

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter are no longer out of reach for simple collection acquisitions. X1 Social Discovery can also harvest data from webmail applications such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo. An added benefit of the tool is that it provides traditional website collection including a full “web crawl.” The setup for a website or web crawl collection is very straightforward and runs in the background. For multi-site collection needs, site information can be imported. The multi-functional collection tool has many of the most popular applications and sites built-in, which makes it easy to quickly grab data and preserve it.

Forensically sound collections are key to any litigation, which is what makes X1 Social collection so different than my previously admitted use of Adobe Professional. X1 Social collects more than what meets the eye, and everything can be verified.

  • All data collected through X1 Social is given a HASH value, which allows the data to be verified should another source of the material to be presented.
  • Built-in options for forensic reports that can be exported and utilized as evidence to ensure defensibility.
  • All metadata is collected, making the collection entirely defensible.

You’ve probably been thinking about this since you started reading: yes, X1 Social Discovery does provide the ability to export for more traditional review needs. You can export PDFs and metadata and load them directly into Relativity (or the platform of your choice). Currently, there is not a direct plugin to Relativity, but full integration is on the roadmap. For most use-cases, the interaction between Relativity and X1 Social Discovery isn’t critical.

Technology isn’t just about features and ease of use. Applications that collect our data have ramifications on our industry and case law. Since the start of 2020, the appearance of case law on social media has already been abundant. Courts have issued more than thirty decisions on social media issues ranging from sanctions for failure to preserve, required metadata, to authentication of video, photos, and social media posts. This follows 2019, which saw more than 160 decisions implicating social media in litigation. Litigators must be aware of the types of social media implicated in a case, provide for proper preservation, and be prepared to review, potentially redact, and produce information on behalf of their clients.

A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit may signal an uptick in consumer privacy protection required by courts and certain legislative actions. An April 2019 case saw the Court of Appeals reverse the District Court ruling, allowing a class action of Facebook users to maintain claims against Facebook for collecting users’ browser history data when logged out of the application. I turned to my friend and expert in this field, Kelly Twigger, Principal of ESI Attorneys: “The effect of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling…could be to finally force Congressional action on updating the completely outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Stored Communications Act that is a part of it…without regulations on what data can be collected and what consent is required, as well as what consent really means and how it’s obtained, there can be no real privacy protections for consumers online. An update to the SCA has been a long time coming.”

Social media changes daily and plenty of change is on the rise for how laws and how we in the legal industry will handle those changes. It’s thanks to software like X1 that we’re now able to gather the necessary information and that we’re able to gather it in a defensible manner. With the astronomical use of social media in our world today, a collection tool is mandatory–that’s why we’ve added X1 Social Discovery to the Oasis Suite of Technology.

Christine Porras

Director of Technology Solutions