The 2020 Update provided clear-cut criteria regarding effective compliance investigations. Sean Freidlin, host of the Compliance Book Club podcast believes that many compliance teams are failing to promptly substantiate a majority of the reports they investigate, due in part to their inability to quickly and easily find the evidence they need, especially in relation to harassment and misconduct cases. He stated, “This doesn’t just demonstrate a fundamental lack of effectiveness from the DOJ’s perspective, but a long-term organizational risk that goes well beyond any individual allegation of misconduct.” The reason is not simply legal but also operational. If there are substantive allegations that are indeed violations, they could continue, thereby exacerbating the problem(s) but also lengthening the time of legal liability.

All of this is particularly significant in light of the industry research that shows many compliance investigations today are unsubstantiated and can take over 40 days from start to finish. The ability of AI to find and analyze data from the web and social media in this automated fashion will be able to overcome some of those challenges both in terms of length of time and overall scope of the investigation. Finally always remember data preservation. One thing the regulators always want to know is if you have the documents and data tied down. This allows a company to have confidence their documents and, in turn, can make such representations to regulators and prosecutors that the documents are secure. In other words, Document, Document, and Document. 

Three key takeaways:

  1. AI is an appropriate tool for supplementing investigations.
  2. AI can look at large bodies of social media data.
  3. AI can help you decrease you investigation length.

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