Neufeld Law Firm
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Personal Injury Cases and Your Smart Phone

Personal Injury Cases and Your Smart PhoneIf you cause a car accident with an accompanying injury to my client, this miami personal injury lawyer may try to subpoena your mobile-phone data to use as evidence against you. Don’t try to throw away or wipe your phone either, if you do, the judge is likely to instruct the jury to presume that you got rid of the evidence to hide something…juries don’t like that.

Yesterday’s Personal Injury Law Blog post discussed the type of information I might be able to obtain via your cell phone data, or even the unit itself.

With PCs (which all basically operate similarly regardless of brand, the harddrive is simply taken out of computer, a mirror image is made, and that image is plugged into forensic software. Mobile phones are trickier. Smartphone forensics is more difficult because there are no standardized platforms (i.e. one brand of cell phone will communicate totally different than another, thus required different software tools).

Any respectable forensic mobile-phone examiner will have to follow the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Guide for Computer Based Electronic Evidence:

  • do not manipulate or change data (if necessary, then needs to be justifiable);
  • document exactly how the phone is being handled (need a contemporaneous audit trail of each and every analytical procedure being performed on the smartphone, so an independent third party could take the same steps and obtain the same results);
  • someone needs to be in charge to oversee the forensic examination (accountability)

On PC – image is a bit-to-bit copy of harddrive (exact duplicate).
On mobile phones, the images are much more difficult to obtain, so the analyst has to perform a ”logic read.” This is essentially the phone’s interpretation of its own memory. Then the forensic software has to reverse engineer from the interpretation to find out what is actually there….and this logic read will differ between forensic companies, as they all have their own proprietary software that makes the different “assumptions” necessary to interpret what is on the phone.

The challenge is that different forensics companies may produce different results (i.e. interpretations). This can make it more difficult to prove as scientifically valid in court. A good defense attorney will find a well-respected forensic cell phone examiner to compare what the plaintiff’s expert found to say, “I ran the phone through three different software programs and got three different interpretations.”

If you would like to speak to a miami personal-injury attorney, please call 800.379.TEAM and ask for Jason Neufeld or he can be emailed directly at jneufeld@nkplaw.com.