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Shadow AI: A Thorny Problem For Law Firms

Above the Law: “Remember Shadow IT? Say Hello to Shadow AI. There were plenty of articles written about Shadow IT – defined by Cisco as “The use of IT-related hardware or software by a department or individual without the knowledge of the IT or security group within the organization.” – Shadow IT included cloud services, software, and hardware. Welcome to the sudden rise of Shadow AI. Its use, like that of Shadow IT, is often unknown to a law firm’s IT or security group. As lawyers gravitated with haste to using generative AI in 2023, the conversation at law firms rapidly turned to controlling the use of Shadow AI. Do you have any idea how many of your firm employees are using AI? The likely answer is no. We’ve all been so busy exploring what AI can do in our practices that only the largest of law firms are likely to have thought about AI policies, much less tracking the actual use of AI in their firms. While law firms and companies don’t like reporting on Shadow IT problems, in 2023 Samsung issued a temporary ban forbidding any unauthorized AI applications after an internal data leak. We are sure similar edicts have been issued elsewhere, but that’s the kind of subject that companies and law firms prefer to keep quiet…”

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