Why is it Important to Ensure that the Integrity of Digital Evidence is Maintained?
The acquisition and maintenance of digital evidence played a major role within the Apple vs Samsung patent infringement case.
Digital evidence plays a vital role in cases in every court case around the world and because of the costs that can be involved in turning data into relevant, usable and understandable evidence, many corporations and law firms are seeking out DIY and other less costly alternatives.
But, as the saying goes, “If you don’t have the time and money to do something right the first time, you certainly don’t have the time and money to do it again.” and this is especially true of digital evidence, where it can be easily altered or lost.
DIY Digital Forensics
Digital forensic specialists often receive calls from clients that have attempted to save a little time and money by trusting unqualified individuals or staff to carry out rudimentary forensics only to find themselves struggling when the proceedings are heard in court.
There are a number of things to consider when choosing a computer forensic expert to assist in the examination of digital evidence in legal proceedings.
The Digital Forensic Process
Courts require process and procedures to be followed at all times, especially when involving digital evidence.
Therefore, the important and fundamental rules of digital evidence must be adhered to when producing such material in court, such as maintaining a careful chain of custody in a criminal case.
If it is possible to raise questions about the handling of digital evidence relating to a case then that should be identified by an independent forensic expert reviewing the case.
Alteration of the Evidence will make it inadmissible
IT staff may be highly experienced in their chosen roles, however, when dealing with digital evidence, simple mistakes can cause the data present to be altered or lost and make it inadmissible in court.
If a mistake, even a seemingly unimportant one such as switching the device on, is identified in court then it could result in the case being dismissed no matter the strength of that digital evidence.
Data Not Considered within a Digital Investigation
Digital Forensics involves the identification and investigation of data stored on a computer, mobile phone or any digital storage device.
One frequent mistake is that the investigation is only completed within areas that the examiner is aware of or can access.
However, a computer forensic expert delves into areas on a device that are not normally accessible and the data within those areas may be sufficient to prove or disprove a theory or allegation.
Biased Expert Witness Testimony
Once the investigation and examination of the digital evidence has been completed and the report produced, the testimony of the individual who completed the work must stand up to scrutiny by the opposition.
The use of internal personnel or staff to discuss and defend the processes, procedures and findings of a digital forensic investigation will place them into a difficult and uncomfortable situation.
If a case involves digital evidence, using a trusted and established professional could be the difference between success and failure in a legal case.
About Athena Forensics
For information on our digital forensic services or if you require any advice or assistance please contact a member of our team on 0330 123 4448 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, further details are available on our contact us page.
Our client’s confidentiality is of the utmost importance. All correspondence is treated with discretion, from initial contact to the conclusion of any computer forensics investigation.
Our digital forensics experts are fully aware of the significance and importance of the information that they encounter and we have been accredited to ISO 9001 for 10 years.
Our forensic experts are all security cleared and we offer non-disclosure agreements if required. Our premises along with our security procedures have been inspected and approved by law enforcement agencies.
Athena Forensics do not disclose personal information to other companies or suppliers.