Black Logo

Our site uses cookies to give you the best user experience and to collect and share information for analytics, advertising and personalization on this and other sites. Please select whether you consent to our use of cookies and related technologies (“Cookies”), as described in our Cookie Policy. You can return at any time from the same web browser to update your preferences. Please note that resetting your browser’s cookies will reset your preferences. You can control the use of some types of cookies through the Cookie Settings below, but note that if you choose to disable certain cookies, it may limit your use of certain features or functions on our services and websites.

Privacy Policy
Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are required to enable core site functionality.

Functionality Cookies

Functionality cookies allow us to provide enhanced and more personalized content and features. In order to permit your connection our website, our servers receive and record information about your computer and browser, potentially including your IP address, browser type, and other software or hardware information. All of these features help us to improve your visit and assist in navigation of the sites’ features.

Analytics Cookies

We and our service providers may use analytics cookies, which are sometimes called performance cookies, to collect information about your use of our website, for instance, which pages you go to most. The information allows us to see the overall patterns of usage, help us record any difficulties users may have while using our website and can show us whether or not our advertising is effective.

Advertising And Targeting Cookies

We may use third party advertising and targeting cookies to correlate your use of our website to personal information obtained about you so that we may more clearly target the information we provide you to the specific items we think you will find interesting, based on your prior online activities and preferences. We also may use these cookies to deliver ads that we believe are relevant to you and your interests.

For more information, view our Cookie Policy


Legility is adept at social media and webmail collection, having put its services in work in a high-profile case involving students at a major American university. Among social media sites involved in the litigation, Legility collected data from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Legility also collected data from a host of webmail sites, including Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail/Live Mail, Yahoo, Apple’s and various university-affiliated domain names. In addition, we were able to collect data from Google applications associated with Gmail accounts, such as Google documents, calendars and contacts.

Legility developed a solution to easily collect data from the webmail accounts, which involved both the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and the Post Office Protocol (POP) account types. We then implemented a proprietary process for the deduplication of emails across multiple formats. In typical platforms this would have been impossible. However, Legility successful deduplicated the various email formats against each other by running a standardization algorithm on all data prior to the deduplication process, saving time, money and resources.

For the different social media platforms, our collection efforts varied as necessary. Legility collected data from LinkedIn, the social networking site for business professionals, by creating code to pull all of the information from LinkedIn user profiles and groups which users belonged.

We collected data from Twitter by writing code to download all available tweets. To access older tweets that were archived elsewhere, we leveraged systems that stored databases of archived tweets. Through the modification of an existing application, we collected this information into an interactive webstyle database where attorneys could view and filter tweets by year, month and day.

For Facebook accounts, it was necessary for Legility to enlist the end user’s involvement in collecting data due to Facebook’s security protocols. Once collected, each user uploaded their data to Legility using their STFP (Secure File Transfer Protocol).

We also needed to collect information from Google docs, including contacts and calendar information. Legility created a proprietary application to grab that data and to then save it in formats that could be used in common programs, like Outlook. From roughly 80 accounts, Legility downloaded approximately 500,000 emails and messages, which were loaded into a traditional review platform for analysis. However, the data we collected from the social media sites were not in formats that could be imported in the same manner. To accommodate, we provided the social media data to our client in specialized format with a user-friendly interface.

As eDiscovery evolves to encompass the demands of proliferating social media platforms, whose users are growing at a geometric rate, it will become increasingly necessary for eDiscovery firms to place an emphasis upon learning and understanding the best practices involved in social media collection. Legility is committed to finding innovative solutions for data collection and review, regardless of the rigor involved or the obscurity of the obstacles in place.

A Word of Caution

Though there are many techniques for gathering data from social media networks and webmail online, digital forensics and eDiscovery companies need to proceed with caution when gathering data. It is important for companies to have proper authorization from the service provider. A common obstacle faced in the collection across various platforms involved the terms of service, the user agreement between the service provider and end user.


The right people, process and technology deliver the right results.

About the author


Legility, a leading provider of technology-enabled legal services, provides consulting, technology, managed solutions, and flexible legal talent to corporations and law firms. The company has more than 1,000 lawyers, engineers, consultants, technology and data specialists, and operational experts serving more than one-third of the Fortune 100 and one-quarter of the Am Law 200. Legility helps its clients improve operational efficiency. By combining people, processes, and technology, Legility offers innovative and bundled solutions that align with how the legal market is increasingly looking to engage.

Subscribe to Insights

Your one-stop shop for the Legility logo & more.

Your one-stop shop for the Legility logo, brand guidelines, photography assets, and more.

Subscribe to insights