What is data collection? It is the acquisition of electronic information (data) marked as potentially relevant in the identification phase. This discussion assumes collection of electronic information by the owner of that information which is intended to be reviewed before production to opposing parties. The exigencies of litigation generally require that electronic information be collected in a manner that is comprehensive, maintains its content integrity and preserves its form.
Increasingly, metadata is required to be collected and maintained during this process, and information regarding the chain of custody and authentication is required. Also, today the presumption is that this information will be producible in its native file format whenever possible. The process of collecting electronic information will generally provide feedback to the identification function, which may impact and expand identified content.