Drone Data Discovery

The past several years has seen significant advancements and availability of UAS technology. For that reason, drones are quickly becoming a new source of ESI evidence in discovery as well as a huge privacy, data security, and flight safety concern.
They are used in data gathering of accident scenes, construction sites, delivery, safety inspections, real estate, agriculture, business, law enforcement, and even bird-repelling. Because smart drone systems are now easy to fly right out of the box, almost anyone can use it for data gathering; which means there is allot of potential electronically stored information (ESI) being generated.
In the past, aerial sensor captured data (video, audio, etc.) was contained within the camera, and the flight data was contained within the drone system (flight Logs and GPS positioning). Drone apps from companies like DJI, now allow users to sync up their data on their servers similar to home video monitoring and surveillance apps like Nest. Drone data synced up on servers are becoming a new third party subpoena target in litigation.
Litigators should start thinking about drones as a potential ediscovery target and work with experienced discovery management companies like NightOwl Discovery in properly preserving that data.