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Tackling the Attachment Dilemma: Effective Solutions for Graphic Files, Audio, and Video in eDiscovery

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In our series “The Attachment Dilemma,” we explore the challenges arising from the exponential growth of data, particularly in dealing with attachments. At Array, we have implemented advanced solutions to address these complexities. In this post, we focus on the challenges posed by graphic files, audio, and video and how our innovative approaches can streamline your eDiscovery process.

The Challenges of Graphic Files

Picture this: you’re processing a set of emails, only to find hundreds or even thousands of graphic file attachments. Upon closer inspection, you realize that a significant portion of these attachments are merely logos from email footers. While capturing and OCRing inline graphics is essential for maintaining searchability, storing countless redundant images can be counterproductive and costly.

In litigation, photos can play a crucial role in the case, and you may have thousands of them. These photos might come from construction jobs, crime scenes, social media, or mobile phones. Some collections may include sensitive photos that are explicit, inappropriate for reviewers, private in nature, or central to the litigation due to their inappropriateness.

Audio and Video Complexities

Audio and video files, such as voicemails, call center recordings, surveillance footage, and online meeting recordings, present unique challenges in eDiscovery. These formats often lack searchable text and have limited or specialized metadata, making them difficult to manage, review, and analyze effectively.

At Array, we have implemented innovative solutions for our clients to address these challenges, including:

1. Inline Graphic Management
We suggest using processing software that can suppress inline graphics and embedded images within emails and office documents. This reduces the number of documents requiring review, potentially saving thousands in review costs. Ensure the software you choose still allows for OCR of the inline and embedded graphics so that the text remains fully searchable within the email or document.

If you encounter numerous inline graphics in your review workspace, there are several strategies to identify them. One method is to tally the hash values and identify the most frequent offenders, then decide how to tag these. Another approach is to use the graphic file width and height properties to locate small or unusually sized graphic files. Additionally, examining files by type can be helpful:

  • PNGs are often logos
  • GIFs are usually decorative graphics
  • JPGs are typically photos or screenshots
  • TIFFs are usually scanned images

Always verify the content before excluding any file, as any file type can be used for various tasks.

2. Advanced Metadata Extraction
The date a photo, video, or audio recording was taken can differ from the date of the file. For instance, when photos are copied from a camera or phone, the file date may reflect the date they were copied rather than when they were taken. Most digital cameras and smartphones embed the date the photo was taken, along with other key information like GPS coordinates, into the file’s metadata. This metadata remains unchanged when the file is copied or moved.

These metadata properties can be extracted and imported into fields within your review platform, enabling you to search and sort efficiently. The most common metadata property for a photo is called “Date Taken,” but it may also be labeled as “Media Created,” “Content Created,” or “Date Created.” Verify your processing software’s capabilities and discuss these options with your project manager.

3. AI-Powered Content Analysis
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed data analysis and categorization in eDiscovery, extending beyond just text-based documents like emails. For example, in most photo apps, you can search for terms like “pets,” “animals,” “cat,” or “dog,” and the app will find matching pictures from your albums. You can also search by names of people, places, and activities, thanks to AI analysis of images. While these features may not be directly available in most review platforms, we can guide you to analysis tools that offer the following capabilities:

  • Transcribing or translating audio and video recordings.
  • Image tagging that recognizes objects, actions, and people.
  • Image captions that provide a one-sentence description of image content. Dense captions can identify regions within an image and generate a caption for each region, describing various types of content.
  • Image OCR analysis, a fast and targeted OCR capability, quickly and accurately reads text from image files. It also detects and OCRs handwritten areas more accurately than traditional OCR.
  • Brand detection to identify brands within an image and provide a list.
  • Adult content detection to identify explicit content in images, allowing you to isolate such images.

These tools can greatly enhance your ability to analyze and manage diverse types of data.

4. Enhanced Review, Redaction, and Production
Review platforms like RelativityOne have limited capabilities for viewing videos and listening to audio files. To enhance support for your content, Array has partnered with third-party vendors to offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Supporting a broad list of audio and video formats.
  • Enabling you to search for a term and jump directly to the specific location in the audio or video where that term is mentioned.
  • Allowing you to redact portions of audio and video files.
  • Producing redacted versions of the audio and video files.

In the face of ever-increasing data complexity, Array remains dedicated to providing advanced eDiscovery solutions. Our innovative approaches for managing graphic files, audio, and video enable legal teams to navigate the intricacies of modern eDiscovery with confidence and efficiency.

Discover how Array can enhance your eDiscovery process. Contact us today for a personalized consultation and explore the capabilities of our solutions firsthand.

Tracey Oldenburg; Director of Hosting

From her 30 years of litigation experience in the industry, along with being a Relativity Certified Master and Relativity Certified Administrator, Tracey’s expertise expands through project management, IT, and administration. She has designed custom templates, workflows, quality control protocols and proprietary project management & reporting tools used in over 600 active litigation matters. Tracey blends a pragmatic, business-oriented approach to eDiscovery process management with a deep understanding of advanced technology offerings and implementation considerations.

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