I have mentioned many times over the last 4 years that one of the greatest challenges here in SA is that so many good software solutions emanate from the US, UK or Australia with pricing in their currency which does not translate well into our economy. Imagine how my interest was sparked when I came into contact with a hardware and software solution which is actually developed here in SA and therefore priced for this market. This is a really really excellent solution with a variety of uses, including eDiscovery, and after all of my questions were answered I am left excited about where this can take us.
The product is called ColdCall - www.coldcall.cc/ - and in simple terms it records every telephone call made and received on the cell phone but also does a whole lot more. I recently met one of the founders of this solution, the eminent neurosurgeon Dr Adriaan Liebenberg who gave me all the details. Let us take a brief look at how it works in the fields of medicine, legal and the commercial world and then examine how it can aid eDiscovery.
Firstly, in the medical world, as this was what prompted the invention of the application, all telephone calls are recorded so for example, that awkward call in the middle of the night between patient and doctor is captured, stored, and an audit trail created via an intuitive dashboard. Making notes of patient calls for record purposes is often a problem for doctors for obvious reasons. My slightly cynical mind starts to ponder about the potentially immense value here when a patient or relative decides to question advice given or comments made over the phone by their medical practitioner. “You never told me the high risk of this surgery when I phoned you” springs to mind, “Yes I did, here is a recording of the actual call” is the response.
The same would be relevant in the legal world with calls, for example, between attorney and client. “You did not advise me against settling this claim and now we have lost at trial” - “Yes I did and here is a recording of our call”.
Of course these may well be extreme examples but that is how my mind works being in a litigious world. In the medical aspect, the contents of the call can then be placed on the patient records and the same applies with the attorney whereby the communications can then be linked to the client file for billing purposes.
Thinking about the commercial world, how useful it would be if, for example, business development staff had this app, again for recording conversations with clients or potential clients. Doubt is avoided over conversations about price, specifications, timelines, legal aspects etc.
Talking about some legal aspects, firstly I am assured that considerable checks via attorneys and the NPA have been made and this solution is 100% legal in SA and the UK (I mention the UK because the company also exists there). Secondly, it is compliant with GDPR, DPA in the UK, as well as POPIA here in SA, whenever that is implemented. This is very important as there are already other apps available through merging with VOIP, e.g. Samsung has an app which records conversations. However, I am advised that these will transgress GDPR etc. unlike ColdCall and even Google have plans in place to remove this type of app from their store due to Data Protection issues. Furthermore, these apps do not have any dashboard which includes reporting, audit trails etc. Storage of the messages is as secure as anything as it is via Microsoft Azure, again complying with DP laws.
All of this then sends my mind towards eDiscovery. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that these messages would be “discoverable”, subject of course to privilege. I see huge value in the fact that all important metadata is captured e.g. time and date of the calls. The content of some calls may well be absolutely crucial to a case or investigation and this app is the only method I know of here in SA that can capture voice recordings of phone calls in a defensible manner.
All in all, I think this solution, which consists of hardware and software is truly fantastic for SA and I unhesitatingly recommend it (it will also grow as other related apps are already in the pipeline). I know that there are Doctors in SA using it right now and that insurers are showing considerable interest as well as the NHS in the UK. Contact the company direct, mentioning me, for more information or contact myself.