Fatal Attraction? Examining the Merits of Ephemeral Messaging
May 1, 2019
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Fatal Attraction? Examining the Merits of Ephemeral Messaging

Fatal Attraction

Mobile messaging applications are front and center today. News about the proliferating use of these applications seems to dominate headlines around the globe. Whether spotlighting their utility in advancing business objectives or ruminating over indiscretions shared through text messages, there is no getting away from the reality that messaging applications—for better or for worse—are a significant part of daily life.

Among messaging apps that have grown in popularity, perhaps none is as trendy as ephemeral messaging. And for good reason. With its ability to automate the destruction of content shared with others, ephemeral messaging offers organizations an intriguingly robust option to strengthen aspects of their corporate information governance programs. This feature, combined with the enhanced ability to communicate confidentially, make ephemeral messaging a viable communication option for companies and their employees.

However, the very aspects that make ephemeral messaging so attractive also pose significant risks that should not be underestimated. From problems with the perception of how this technology is being used to complications with government regulators, litigation adversaries, courts, and information governance programs, ephemeral messaging may arguably create more troubles than solutions for some enterprises. Indeed, adopting ephemeral messaging without examining its merits could be fatal to companies in certain regulated industries.

To avoid the possibility of a fatal attraction, organizations should examine the benefits and drawbacks of ephemeral messaging. Consider the following queries that apply to the use of this technology:

  • Can ephemeral messaging help control risks and costs for the organization?
  • How will government regulators perceive the organization’s use of ephemeral messaging?
  • If the organization is under legal hold, can it still use ephemeral messaging and if so, under what circumstances?

Exploring these and other key issues will enable the enterprise considering this technology to make an informed choice about its use within the corporate environment.

To help organizations with this process, Driven has prepared a white paper that explores these issues and offers suggestions and guidance regarding the selection and use of such applications.[1] We invite you to visit Driven’s resources webpage to obtain a copy of the white paper.


[1] A modified version of this white paper was first published in the June/July 2019 issue of Practical Law The Journal.

Philip Favro
Philip Favro
Philip Favro acts as a trusted advisor to organizations and law firms on issues surrounding discovery and information governance. Phil provides guidance on data preservation practices, litigation holds, data collection strategies, and ESI search methodologies. In addition, he offers direction to organizations on records retention policies and the need to manage dynamic sources of information found on smartphones, cloud applications, and social networks. Phil is available to serve as a special master on issues related to electronic discovery. Phil is a nationally recognized thought leader and legal scholar on issues relating to the discovery process. His articles have been published in leading industry publications and academic journals and he is frequently in demand as a speaker for eDiscovery education programs. Phil is a member of the Utah and California bars. He actively contributes to Working Group 1 of The Sedona Conference where he leads drafting teams and serves as the Steering Committee project manager. Prior to joining Driven, Phil practiced law in Northern California where he advised a variety of clients regarding business disputes and complex discovery issues. He also served as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Santa Clara County Superior Court based in Santa Clara, California.
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