“Interesting – but why has it taken them so long?” was Vince Neicho’s reaction to our story on Microsoft’s recent Compliance Center innovations, which we suggest means that the software giant is now a serious threat to external early case assessment providers.

The Compliance Center, which is being rolled out in order to help corporations better manage their data privacy risks and avoid the risks associated with sending data out to third parties, enables managers to safeguard sensitive data, manage the data governance process and use new in-built eDiscovery tools.

During litigation and investigations, new capabilities in Advanced Discovery (available to users with an Office 365 E5 subscription) help users communicate with custodians, isolate case-related content for processing within static sets and use the new review and redact capability to modify sensitive portions of documents before exporting them as part of a legal matter.

Reacting to the story on our website, Vince Neicho, vice president of legal services at Integreon, said: “I suppose it shows something can still be innovative even if it is introduced 10 years too late!  Not sure about how lawyers will feel about redaction at source.  Surely they will need to see the whole picture to consider context.   Their opponents in litigation would certainly want to be sure that any redaction has passed muster with the producing party’s lawyers.  Sounds like it could be open to abuse by some unscrupulous owners of data.”

Vince, who was involved in shaping the Civil Procedure Rules on electronic disclosure, is taking a deeper look for us at the Compliance Center’s functionality, so keep an eye out for follow-up comment.