I am live blogging from the Masters Conference 2010 (a conference that attracts leading e-Discovery professionals). This is the keynote session featuring Alan K. Tse, Vice President and General Counsel, LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. Dan Regard of Intelligent Discovery has a dialogue with Mr. Tse in a session titled “An Interactive Conversation with…. Alan Tse, Vice President and General Counsel, LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc”.  

LG is based in Asia (Korea), where there is very little litigation or e-discovery. Educating management there about e-discovery (EDD) is a big challenge. US style litigation is very new in Asia.

Dan points out that LG not only creates data but also the hardware supporting content creation and communication. Tse points out that smartphones are full-fledged PCs. Suggests that systems will become increasingly smart. Apps today are a year or two old and will take time to catch up to hardware capability. Apps will automatically create information. What EDD challenges does this create?

Mobile devices are replacing PCs. From sales perspective, creating data automatically is good. But this does create information management challenges. You have to figure out how to store all the data. The law does not distinguish between mobile devices and PCs.

Dan suggests that move to mobile computing increases need and demand for cloud computing. On mobile devices, less data is stored locally and more in the cloud. Dan asks what is the economic attraction for LG of cloud computing. LG is very aggressive; the economics is twofold: 1) cost savings and more importantly, 2) improved ability to operate because workers have access to information from everywhere and from any device.

Cloud computing has been described as “credit card IT”. The meaning is that individuals can buy IT services without corporate sign-off. LG bars this. Tse says that companies need good policies on information and security that protect company but also work for employees or they will route around the corporate infrastructure. So LG has banned credit card IT.

The LG approach to info management and security: The company started with data mapping two years ago. Company has almost 100k employees and operates in 100+ countries. Data mapping located ALL data. The LG put plan in place to manage. LG solution is very cloud like. All storage is stored in corporate servers (which sounds like private cloud) and not locally on PCs. This is an on-going process. Started in US and now rolling out globally. IT drove process but Tse directed. Much is in transition but goal is to have unified system and records management.

What is the impact on cost of litigation of these changes? Tse says that other things have also changed at same time…. using a single EDD vendor in US and having documents reviewed offshore. Since many docs are created offshore, any risk of offshore review is mitigated. Has seen up to a one-hundred-fold decrease in cost by reviewing docs offshore. On average, paying less than 10% than two years ago.

Another issue is mingling of personal and corporate. No one would follow a policy restricting smartphone use to business purpose. Policy has to acknowledge and allow mixed use. Need to have back-ends that separate business and personal. Also need to have access to corporate data without physically taking device away. Because of these requirements, does not make sense to store any data locally on smartphones.

How does privacy affect policies? Tse points out that global privacy laws are NOT harmonized. US is less strict than much of less of world. For example, in US LG can run sweepstakes collecting e-mail address. Much harder to do so in Europe because in US you don’t have to segregate personally identifiable information.

Tse says his job is to solve his clients’ problems. Who his providers are does not matter. He will look for the most cost-effective approach. References data culling, offshore resources, new technology

Tse: vendors need to present options and costs in terms that lawyers can understand and be less techie. Pitch services in a way that GC and CFO can understand.


Data mapping process began after Tse got frustrated at effort to find data. The process takes time though. The goals are driven by both IT and legal considerations. E-mail is now unified, other systems moving in this direction.