eDiscovery Impacts

eDiscovery Impacts of Apple’s New iOS 16 Features: eDiscovery Trends

When I first heard that Apple is adding an unsend feature to iPhones, I thought “that sounds like a spoliator’s dream”. But the eDiscovery impacts of Apple’s new iOS 16 features may save spoliators – if they act in time.

Monday, Apple announced the new features that are expected with its new iOS 16 version that will be available for public beta next month. One feature I’ve already heard people talking about a lot is the new ability to unsend a text message.

If you’re like me and you’re thinking about the eDiscovery impacts of Apple’s new feature, you’re probably also thinking “that sounds like a spoliator’s dream”. Well, fear not.


In the end notes of its release, Apple states: “Users can edit or recall a message for up to 15 minutes after sending it, or recover recently deleted messages for up to 30 days after deletion”. Presumably, the edit and recall capabilities are only possible with messages sent to other Apple users.

Chances are that a spoliator with intent to deprive will have waited long after the 15 minutes to act, so that feature should have no eDiscovery impacts.

But it’s the other part of the sentence that could save spoliators – the ability to recover recently deleted messages for up to 30 days after deletion. That might save a spoliator if they – inadvertently or intentionally – delete messages that are discoverable – if they act in time.

Two other notable features are: 1) the new iCloud Shared Photo Library, which gives every user in the Shared Photo Library the access to add, delete, edit, or favorite the shared photos or videos (sounds like a potential spoliation issue there), and 2) the new privacy tool called Safety Check can be helpful to users whose personal safety is at risk from domestic or intimate partner violence by quickly removing all access they’ve granted to others, which has data privacy ramifications and sounds like a terrific feature to add!


So, what do you think? Do you see any other eDiscovery impacts of Apple’s new iOS 16 features? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.


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