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Nov. 10, 2022

Why the Metaverse is Tricky for Data Collection and Discovery

By Jason I. Epstein, Mallory Acheson, CIPM, CIPP/E

Bloomberg Law

In an article published by Bloomberg Law, Nelson Mullins attorneys Mallory Acheson and Jason Epstein discuss data collection and discovery implications of increasing investment and participation in virtual technologies like the metaverse, including growing litigation involving intellectual property rights, harassment, and assault in the virtual space. 

“While the metaverse may be a new concept to many, collection and production of electronically stored information is not,” they said. “Industry standards and processes for collection of video, audio, and message content likely will be adapted for specific collection in the metaverse. Some unique features of the metaverse, however, highlight unique issues in the virtual-reality industry.”

With federal rules in mind, Acheson and Epstein say there are at least three questions to consider: 1.) what might be relevant, 2.) where is the data location, and 3.) how can we collect and present the data to comply with e-discovery requirements? 

“We can reasonably foresee a multitude of discovery proportionality and burden objections as litigation in this area grows and the volumes and types of data bring into question the cost and efforts of collecting and presenting information in proportion to the needs of the case,” they said. “To prepare, companies venturing into the metaverse should become knowledgeable on the data they are collecting, contributing, and potentially creating.”

Acheson focuses her practice on privacy and security compliance, technology transactions and the intersection of data and electronic discovery issues.  

Epstein is the co-head of the firm's technology and procurement industry group, where he and the technology team provide legal services to buyers and sellers of technology both domestically and internationally in various industries, from FinTech and Health IT to auto and manufacturing.