The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are at risk of being out of sync with current technology trends. In particular, ephemeralmessaging applications, or “self-destruct apps,” are changing the way we conceptualize digital records. These apps embrace the industry goal of “privacy by design,” a positive trend in minimizing the amount of data that is created and stored. Civil discovery, on the other hand, contemplates data retention and preservation, particularly as to electronically stored information. This Article identifies the conflict between privacy by design—particularly self-destruct apps—and the civil discovery rules. It cautions against treating self-destruct apps as spoliation by design and instead notes that, in some contexts, ephemeral messaging may be more akin to live conversation than electronic records.
"Self-Destruct Apps: Spoliation by Design?,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 51:
3, Article 5.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol51/iss3/5