Google Cloud Collection and Forensic Services

Capturing the cloud

As the Google Apps cloud-based productivity suite gains a strong foothold in organizations, new discovery and forensic capabilities are needed to respond to the challenges arising from this cloud computing architecture. Gmail, Drive, calendar, and more than 200 marketplace applications make Google Apps a dynamic, global environment that allows collaboration and integration with other systems. But as data leaves the enterprise, the challenges around discovery can surge.


The Google Apps1 architecture stretches far beyond the doors of the enterprise. Gmail, Drive, calendar, and more than 200 marketplace applications make Google Apps a dynamic, global environment that allows collaboration and integration with other systems. But as data leaves the enterprise, the challenges around discovery can surge. Moreover, today's current tools may not cover the extent of Google Apps such as Drive and Blogger, and often they cannot capture Google-specific metadata, such as contributor information, labels, and version.

1 Google Apps is a Google Inc. product. Please see for additional information.

Our solution

Deloitte can assist your organization by identifying and preserving data created and stored in Google Apps. We work with your team to avoid disrupting active user accounts by utilizing a propriety and scalable cloud collection infrastructure. Combined with our defensible processes, we can help convert collected data into standard industry formats needed for traditional processing and review.

Our methodology is comprised of the following phases:


Multi-tenancy, multi-jurisdiction, virtualization, complex service models, network, and bandwidth constraints have created a new setting for discovery. Our professionals bring extensive experience with large-scale cloud deployments and discovery to organize your efforts to meet legal and regulatory requirements. Using a tailored Google Apps Discovery Framework, we approach legal preparedness as a collaborative effort involving IT, compliance, legal, business, and Google Apps professionals.

  • Set program objectives that align with legal and regulatory requirements
  • Develop strategy to identify and preserve data based on leading practices in the field
  • Write policies and procedures on Googles Apps specific features to avoid preservation and collection gaps
  • Establish controls over retentions and disposition to reduce storage costs
Cloud discovery and forensics

Deloitte Discovery evaluates leading discovery solutions for Google Apps and has developed proprietary tools to provide tailored solutions to our clients. These solutions have helped companies with legal hold, collect, process, and produce Google Apps source data. Our cloud discovery lab has extensive forensic capabilities that enable us to identify, collect, and analyze data through Google's interfaces, and support sensitive investigations in a forensically sound manner.

  • Collection of email, e-files, documents, media, and structured data
  • Forensically sound preservation of websites, user interfaces, and API data
  • Analysis of cloud artifacts, metadata, and network data for investigative purposes
  • Linkage of cloud-based data with data locally collected from laptops, servers, and mobile devices
  • Social mapping and advanced analytics
Defensible disposition

A key part of information lifecycle management is the disposition of data that no longer needs to be retained. Besides the risk of breaching data protection and privacy laws, the cost of maintaining data preservation on the cloud, as opposed to locally, can be significant.

  • Forensically collect data and associated metadata
  • Preserve and defensibly dispose of Google Apps data
  • Archive on standard evidence drives in a format that can be processed by leading discovery platforms
Google Apps Data Processing

Collected data often ends up in a review platform to support discovery requests or investigations. Deloitte Discovery has the experience to convert Google Apps data to any desired format, including standard Concordance2 and Relativity3 load-files. The load-files will contain all collected metadata, and maintain linkage between structured and unstructured data.


If you prefer to build a local capability for the preservation of your Google Apps data, we can assess your environment, and its maturity and performance compared to the industry. Leveraging experienced cloud specialists, regulatory professional, and forensic resources within the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms, we are able to provide you with a broad evaluation of applicable legal, regulatory and business requirements, and technical infrastructure to identify potential risks and gaps along with recommendations for improvement.

2 Concordance® e-discovery management software is a LexisNexis product. Please see for additional information.

3 Relativity® by kCura is an e-discovery platform. Please see for additional information.

Contact us

For more information about our Google Cloud Collection and Forensic Services, please contact:


Bob Dillen
Managing Director
+1 212 436 2145

Our experience

  • A client wanted to collect over 10,000 Google Apps accounts under legal hold. An assessment was made to identify what Google Apps services each user was using and data was collected across all services in use, including Chat, Drive and Blogger. All relevant metadata was preserved, collected, and converted for review. Using a proprietary Google Apps quality control toolkit, the cloud data was compared against the collected data, and the original Google Apps accounts were deleted. In addition to having the collected data ready for review, the client also achieved significant cost savings on monthly fees for the deleted accounts.
  • For an FCPA investigation in Brazil we collected Google Apps data for over 20 custodians, including Email, Drive, Contacts, and Calendar information. The data was made available for review in Relativity with all relevant metadata like “labels.” The speed of the collection and rapid case assessment resulted in significant cost savings for the client.