Mobile phones have become the center of our digital lives, making them critical to the eDiscovery process. Extracting data from them, however, can be quite challenging when compared to other electronic devices.

The abundance of different mobile devices, the variation of technology found on these devices, and the sheer volume of data a single mobile phone can store are all hurdles that must be overcome. When you then factor in multiple communication methods—texts, calls, emails, apps, and social media activity—that must be reviewed during a typical case, it’s easy to see how investigators can feel overwhelmed.

Technology has definitely made accessing data from smartphones more challenging and reviewing that data nearly impossible if you’re still doing so manually.  Yet, technology can also provide solutions. Partnering with a technology provider can be the answer to your eDiscovery needs when you’re drowning in data overload.

Here’s what an effective eDiscovery process for mobile phones looks like along with some tips about how the right strategic partner can help streamline investigations.

Step 1: Know Your Smartphone

The wide variety of mobile devices and the assortment of phone versions available today make data extractions particularly challenging. Each new version comes with enhanced security functionality and specific technology that can make the extraction process even more difficult.

Partnering with companies that continue to innovate and improve their mobile forensic solution is necessary to maintain a consistent eDiscovery process regardless of phone type or version.

Step 2: Overcome Extraction And Encryption Challenges

Typical smartphone users utilize up to eight communication methods on their phone. These range from common methods, like text or voice messaging, to multiple social media platforms and other communication methods such as WhatsApp. Each communication method has its unique output format, and some come with advanced encryption algorithms that can make the output impossible to read. These are commonly referred to as “zero evidence” apps.

Fortunately, technology exists to ensure there is no such thing as a “zero evidence” app and that the extraction can be output in a common, easy-to-read format. But just because you can output and review all the data does not mean you should.

Step 3: Selective Extraction

The eDiscovery process is about finding the right data related to your case as quickly as possible. When you consider that a single gigabyte equates to as much as 75,000 pieces of data and that the average smartphone contains 32 GB of storage, the importance of extracting the right data is paramount to a timely discovery.

Using a solution to select data types and sources to be reviewed will save valuable time in the extraction process, eliminate the “data dump” of unnecessary data, and avoid separating the owner from their phone for an extended period of time.

Step 4: Automated Analysis

Once you have the data, however, what do you do with it? Even in a best-case scenario with a selective extraction, the amount of data that needs to be reviewed will be a burden.

By automating the analysis of data through machine learning and advanced algorithms, pinpointing critical pieces of data in a timely manner is possible.

Step 5: Other Data Sources

Data extracted from a smartphone can uncover other sources of information that need to be accessed even if that data no longer resides on the device in custody. (Digital data never really goes away. Even if it is deleted from a smartphone, the data can still reside in the Cloud.)

Public and private cloud data can be accessed and added to the discovery process for review. Having the right technology at your disposal to gain access to different types of data sources that reside beyond the hardware is vital to an effective discovery process.

A Trusted Partner

Smartphones require smart technology, and in the world of digital forensics and eDiscovery the only partner with the innovation and expertise to ensure smooth processing of mobile phones is Cellebrite.

Offering unparalleled access to devices and applications, along with the analytics solutions to automate and expedite overwhelming data analysis, Cellebrite has the expertise you need.

Cellebrite is the recognized leader and innovator in digital intelligence and offers the solutions required for a consistent and simple eDiscovery process.

Learn more about Cellebrite’s Business Solutions here.

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