Appendix II: Guidance Note: Security of an Arbitrator's Electronic Information - CCA Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration - Fourth Edition
Gerald G. Saltarelli
William H. Levit, Jr., Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mitchell L. Marinello
Arbitrators understand that information they receive and generate during an arbitration must be kept confidential. This includes information supplied by the parties (pleadings, motions, briefs, documents and other materials) and information that arbitrators themselves develop (orders, awards, analyses, notes, memos, and communications with parties and other panel members). In the digital age, an increasing amount of this information is accessed, stored, and shared electronically. Consequently, to honor their commitment to confidentiality, arbitrators must take reasonable steps to protect arbitral information in their computers, removable drives, email accounts, smartphones, and web services.
Failure to employ reasonable measures to safeguard electronic information can easily result in public disclosure of confidential arbitral information. For example, an arbitrator could lose a laptop, or have it stolen, while traveling. If the laptop is not protected by a log-on password, and data on the disk is not encrypted, anyone finding the computer would have immediate access to all of the confidential data stored on it.
This Guidance Note recommends certain practices designed to protect an arbitrator’s electronic information. Implicit in these recommended practices is the principle that if an arbitrator uses electronic systems to store, access, and transmit arbitral information, he or she should become reasonably familiar with basic electronic security concepts and procedures. Such knowledge can be obtained through self-study, day-to-day experience, or advice from knowledgeable peers or consultants. Because the digital world changes rapidly, confidentiality requires continuous commitment to investigate and potentially implement new or improved security practices as they evolve.
In certain instances, this Guidance Note suggests additional practices that can provide enhanced protection. Such practices entail added steps and, perhaps, added cost. An arbitrator should consider, in light of the additional steps and cost, as well as the arbitrator’s ability to implement and utilize such additional practices, whether adoption of enhanced practices is appropriate for the arbitrator.