Will self-authentication of evidence create new risks for self-collections?

The subject amendment could create unnecessary discovery disputes for companies who “self-collect” ESI. The amendment sets forth standards for defensible ESI collection i.e. collection of data through a reliable “process of digital identification” as certified by a “qualified person.” Since this standard applies to self-authentication of ESI under Rule 902, opposing counsel may use the standard to challenge the collection of ESI in general if the collection did not provide a reliable “process of digital identification” or was not performed with the assistance of a forensic or IT professional or other “qualified person.”
Rather than risk discovery challenges, it is best that the collection of ESI continue to be performed by a “qualified person or vendor like NightOwl Discovery” with the requisite knowledge or expertise for properly collecting, verifying, and preserving ESI pursuant to Fed. R. Evidence 902(13)(14).