I spend a lot of time reading Microsoft’s Roadmap or listening to M365 related podcasts while I hike with our dogs (got to exercise the meat puppet). This addiction started when all of my clients were asking about the #eDiscovery/#Infogov implications of their impending or recent migration to the cloud. Better to be ahead of them than constantly saying, “I will find out and get right back to you.” As some of you figured out, I am also deep in a non-eDiscovery startup trying to solve our information overload challenge. All of this means that I closely follow MSFT/Google #ArtificialIntelligence initiatives to know what tools are available for either of my worlds. We have all been receiving Viva briefings and seeing Viva Insights showing up in Teams and other M365 apps. Bing is now saving AAD user search history to make better search suggestions. As a former criminalist, my first thought is how much that search history can tell me about a suspect. A new feature can indeed also be a red flag for potential institutional abuse.

Microsoft is rapidly expanding the scope of user and workplace analytics. These analytics promise to provide utilization, productivity and employee ‘health’ metrics to middle management lost in a WFH/hybrid reality. Without the ability to walk through cube farms or drop in on their direct reports old school managers are having to find new ways to justify their own positions. Now that Viva is telling you how much ‘free time’ you had last week, how hard will it be for your boss to get those statistics?

Despite Microsoft’s admirable privacy principals and consistent messaging on end user data protection, we all know that the vast majority of US corporations consider all employee activity and work-related information as company property. I have been lucky enough to support some global corporations who sincerely value employee privacy. Are they giving up a competitive edge by limiting the incredible data that can be harvested from employee actions and information? Can they get that information quickly for internal investigations, government requests or post incident reconstructions? Beyond employees, what about the increasing body of professional contractors who work across multiple client environments?

These are some of the questions that I have been wrestling with. I start by diving into the tools to figure out what is possible, but frequently run into scenarios that require ethical/strategic decisions on the executive levels.

The whole Environmental, social and corporate governance (#ESG) movement gives me a faint hope that shareholder pressure might extract more than profit from employees and customers. We need these tools to conquer digital overload and the resulting technostress. How can we focus and be productive if we are constantly checking email, texts, IMs and Teams posts? I want to embrace every advantage that eDiscovery analytics have pioneered to make our digital lives more meaningful and positive. What are your favorite AI or machine learning tools? How have they made your work easier and what are the potential privacy risks they carry?

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment or advice. Greg is no longer a journalist and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being published. Do you want to share your own perspective? Greg is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 


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