The digital world is developing and fast, reaching different segments of society with each passing day. The use of phones is not just restricted to the purpose of maintaining contact with people.
Today smartphones occupy a very crucial part of our lives. To be clear, they are an object which has almost most of your data stored in through different apps. This very fact makes it a principal part of various criminal investigations in terms of evidence. Now let’s get into some in-depth understanding of how smartphones have changed forensic science and criminal investigation.
Role of smartphones in a criminal investigation
Gathering evidence is a crucial and quite difficult task in the investigation. With smartphones being an unavoidable factor in most people’s lives, it is also a primary source of evidence in many criminal investigations. However, end-to-end encryption of data ensures that no third person can avail of the information.
But with the help of forensics under the legal obligation, the data can be retrieved even after deletion. Moreover, the use of different smartphone applications also provides various pieces of information relating to conversations, location, etc.
With the advancements in technologies and software such as mobile device forensics tools by Grayshift, forensics have a specialized branch called mobile device forensic to subsist with it for data retrieval. This branch primarily focuses on getting the most useful data and proofs from devices within the least period. This enables us to solidify the investigation and helps to solve it at the earliest.
Types of data that can be retrieved
Calls and messages
On analyzing the call records, contacts, and messages, the investigators can help draw relations between the suspects and victims of the crime or even lead to another clue for further progress. Apart from these, a detailed interpretation of metadata can help bring more information on a particular piece of data that is generally not visible.
Location and tracking
To establish the timeline of the crime, tracking the victim and suspects location is important. Moreover, it also enables checking the genuineness of the alibi in the case. Although location services may be turned off, certain applications in smartphones still use them without the significant knowledge of the user. This provides a loophole for the investigators to get information.
Web search and history
Checking the web searches or history can sometimes provide leads. Today using the incognito mode or deleting the search history does not ensure that these data have been completely deleted off. With the help of experts, this information can be easily retrieved within a short period.
Photos and screenshots
Capturing a quick or accidental photo or a screenshot can become a shred of really important evidence for investigators. Like most data, deleting will in no way hinder the retrieval process. In addition to that, information relating to the date, time, location of the photo can also be identified. This can provide significant clues for the investigation.
Apart from retrieving data from user’s smartphones, forensics also uses applications and technologies suitable for smartphones to help them with the investigation. Today many trustworthy agencies and companies build easy and secure applications for ethical hacking and data retrieval. The use of mobile applications helps to execute the investigation more progressively with the least time-consuming. Make sure to understand and choose a safe application as per requirement.