If you’ve turned on the news at least once during the 2016 presidential election season, you have heard at least something about Hillary Clinton’s emails. When it was determined that Clinton would have to testify in front of congress and the FBI, forensic data services were used in the collection of evidence.
Although this is a well-known and current case, there are thousands upon thousands of cases where digital forensics have been used to combat crime in the 21st century. With some crimes, including hacking, the only evidence to be found is within online data or computer data. The importance and need for forensic evidence is growing faster than ever with over 3 billion people around the world that are “online” and using computers and other devices on a daily basis.
Not only are forensic data experts important in fighting crimes like hacking, many times the computers, cell phones and devices of suspects involved in murder, kidnapping, fraud, drug trafficking and conspiracy will be taken in as evidence. Police will turn over the technology to a forensic data expert who will search the device for evidence of a crime. This could come in the form of their internet search history, emails, document, photographs, web history and many others.
Not every crime is worthy of a CSI episode however. Forensic data services can be especially helpful in cases of compliance, intellectual theft, espionage, money laundering, forgeries, fraud, bankruptcy and employee disputes. Without forensic evidence, many criminals would get away with their illegal activities.
Forensic data services are becoming more and more popular as the need and trust in forensic data evidence has grown. At the start of this technology, people shied away from it because it was costly and timely. The only forensic data specialists were employed at law enforcement centers in large metropolitan areas.
With technology rapidly improving, the importance of being an expert in the field of digital forensics is increasing as well. More automation is being used, tools are being invented and tested that make data collection easier and more lawful. The government and forensic experts are learning new ways of working with each other to improve upon methods of collection and efficiency. The forensic based services are the future of data collection in law enforcement as the science shifts from being tool focused to service focused.