Mobile phones have taken the world by storm over the past two decades. Just about everyone has a smart phone—at least one smart phone. And as mobile phones have gone from dumb clamshell and flip phones to full-fledged smart phone microcomputers, we’ve adapted. A lot of us barely use our phones to make calls anymore—or, at the very least, the amount of time we spend making calls is dwarfed by the amount of time we spend doing anything else.
For many people, their smart phone is a secondary computer all in its own: used for storing and accessing photos, videos, and music; sending and receiving emails; browsing the Internet and navigating social media environments; and more. And not only that—they store data on our geographical position as well (data that platforms like Google can put to, quite frankly, quite creepy use). All of this activity fills the phone with electronically stored information, or ESI similar to what you’d find on a computer.
Mobile devices are no longer a secondary source of ESI. Rather, they have become in many instances a primary source of relevant information, and often contain data you won’t find anywhere else. For your casework, taking advantage of the wealth of ESI that can be obtained on a smart phone is just as important as taking advantage of the ESI from a PC—if not more so. In legal matters of all types—from civil litigation to criminal litigation to private investigations—mobile ESI is a potential gold mine.
Whether you’re an attorney from a large or small firm, mobile phone discovery and ESI collection is more important than ever. It’s also never been less out-of-reach.
The truth is, if you aren’t leveraging ESI from mobile phones in your case work, you’re missing out.
The kind of ESI you’ll find on a mobile phone include things like:
- Text messages (and yes, even deleted text messages)
- Pictures, videos, and documents
- Incoming, outgoing, and missed call logs
- Calendar entries, to-do lists, and contact lists
- Geolocation data, as well as cell phone tower and Wi-Fi connection data
- Email data
- Application usage data
- Internet browsing history
- System files, usage logs, and error messages
All of this information can be of extremely great value to your case. Of course, getting a hold of that ESI, sifting through it, analyzing it, documenting it, and drawing sensible conclusions from the data is a daunting task. To avoid the possibility of data spoliation or other issues that can put the outcome of your case in jeopardy, mobile forensics needs to be left to digital forensics specialists with expert training and professional tools.
eDiscovery and digital forensics sound daunting and scary…
Maybe you avoid forensics and e-discovery because it sounds complicated and scary. Yes, it can be complicated. Yes, it can be scary. But fortunately for you, you can leave all that to professionals like us.
Yes, you need a digital forensics expert
This is true whether you’re in a large firm or a small firm. Just because you’re a large firm doesn’t mean you have in-house specialists who can do this work for you. And just because you’re a small firm doesn’t mean you can’t afford to hire an expert in the field of mobile forensics. Mobile phone ESI collection, eDiscovery, and forensics services are for everybody.
As a digital forensics services company, we hear from a lot of attorneys from small firms who don’t realize that the services we provide aren’t just reserved for big firms with deep pockets. They think all the larger firms they’re up against either have in-house talent (not true) to do forensics work themselves, or have the budget to hire digital forensics companies that small firms don’t have (also not true). They know that mobile forensics is important—but if you aren’t a big firm, what are you to do?
Conversely, large firms we’ve talked to are sometimes dominated by lawyers who have been in the field for a very, very long time, but haven’t quite caught up with the fact that mobile ESI can be of quite the crucial importance to their casework it is today.
The truth is:
It doesn’t take deep pockets or insider know-how to take advantage of digital forensics and e-discovery services.
Even if you’re a small firm, hiring experts like us to collect, preserve, analyze, and document ESI from mobile devices is not outside your reach. You don’t need in-house expertise or overflowing coffers.
It doesn’t matter if the mobile phone that contains the ESI you need is perfectly healthy, or if it’s been reformatted, crushed, burned, submerged in water, or buried in a swamp for a month. Even after a factory reset, there may can be valuable ESI for a forensics expert to uncover. Skilled mobile forensics and eDiscovery specialists like the ones at Gillware Digital Forensics have the tools and training to safely collect, preserve, and analyze the ESI from these devices in even extreme circumstances.