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Potential Legal Hurdles in Mobile Device Forensics

Written by DFM Team


Potential Legal Hurdles in Mobile Device Forensics

A look at the legal hurdles when investigating mobile devices


As the capabilities of mobile phones have improved, the niche of mobile phone forensics has grown to become a legitimately discrete industry. This was a necessity:
mobile phones are similar to desktop and laptop computers in a number of ways, they have CPUs, RAM, local data storage, and connectivity; but they differ enough that traditional forensics tools for PCs are no longer suitable. As with many new industries, the field is subject to a mix of old rules, new rules, and grey areas in which not all of the rules have been established. Topics like evidentiary requirements and evidence handling, for example, will remain largely the same but the technical nuances are impressively different. In this issue we’re going to look at two areas that are a mix of old, new, and grey. The first of these areas is Mobile Device Management.

In previous years, the standard model for work-related mobile devices, typically BlackBerrys, was that the employer provided the device and the service, and the pool of devices was managed via some centralized system, e.g. BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Because the device was employer- owned, the company could set policy for acceptable use, standardize the configuration, and generally exercise control over all aspects of the device’s operation. However, with the recent explosion of smartphones and other mobile devices, including tablets, employees are becoming more insistent on using their personal devices for business purposes.




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