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Deloitte: No Easy Answers In Preserving Mobile Device Data

NEW YORK, June 24, 2014 — During the past year 15.1 percent of executives’ organizations have had to preserve mobile device data for litigation, regulatory and internal investigations, according to a recent Deloitte poll.  Many (24.3 percent) lack confidence in their companies’ ability to preserve mobile device data.

“While mobile devices are great for workplace collaboration, they aren’t as easy to manage as computers are for quick data collection and preservation when a lawsuit, regulatory inquiry or internal investigation looms,” said Michael Weil, director in Deloitte Discovery, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP.  “Unlike computers where data can often be collected remotely, someone must physically touch mobile devices to collect and preserve the evidence on them.  That creates a business disruption for employees when they have to surrender the devices.”

The greatest threats to mobile device data preservation include the always-changing state of mobile device data (29.2 percent), the speed at which applications are developed and adopted (16.5 percent) and some devices’ natural data deletion (10.2 percent).

Half of respondents (50.6 percent) say their organizations have BYOD (bring your own device) programs.

“Executives and boards who think about discovery issues well before they experience an event stand to create clear management and collection strategies that work well for both IT and legal teams,” said Mark Michels, director in Deloitte Discovery, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP.  “Understanding how mobile device use differs by global region, the risks un-vetted applications bring and the need to be consistent with corporate culture can be helpful in right-sizing both BYOD compliance policies and mobile data preservation strategies.”

Policies around mobile device data preservation are updated annually, if not more frequently, at 27.6 percent of respondents’ organizations.

About the online poll
More than 1,680 professionals responded to polling questions during a March 26, 2014 webcast, titled “Getting Smart about Smartphone Technology.” Respondents work in a range of sectors including banking and securities, technology, process and industrial products, and retail and distribution.  Click here to listen to the webcast.

About Deloitte Discovery
Deloitte Discovery is one of the industry’s largest global discovery services providers, with highly skilled professionals in more than 35 countries, serving multinational corporations, law firms, and government agencies in complex litigation and regulatory matters.  Our multimillion dollar investment in discovery technology, analytics and global resources provides our clients with a variety of options to help control costs and mitigate risks throughout the discovery process. With flexible pricing options designed to meet a variety of our clients’ requests, we offer custom programs to help tackle your business challenges. Certain services are provided by Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics (DTBA), an affiliate of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. DTBA is not a CPA firm.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, and its affiliate, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP.  Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP is not a certified public accounting firm. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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Shelley Pfaendler
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