Internet-of-Things (IoT), Game Consoles, and Other Devices
Using non-traditional sources of digital evidence in litigation.
The digital forensics field grows as fast as technology does. In modern litigation, there is a vast array of digital evidence beyond cell phones and computer workstations. Every new product or technological development presents a new source of data that can be relevant in an investigation.
While Google Glass and Snapchat Spectacles may not have large active users, wearable tech is diverse and increasing. Millions of consumers own Fitbits or smart watches, which collect sensitive health data, location data, and communications. When one device is inaccessible, a paired wearable could provide a duplicate source of evidence. Fitness tracker data from smart wearable tech has been used in court to challenge individual’s self-reports of actions and prove physical impact in personal injury lawsuits. Evidence collection from wearable devices should not be overlooked.
Toys and Game Systems
Nintendo DS, PlayStations, Xbox, and networked toys are easily overlooked locations of digital evidence. Logs indicating use can determine a user’s behavior during a period of time. Conversations held in game chats are stored and may be retrievable.
IoT Home Devices
Internet-connected home devices can store audio, video, and logs of the actions of users in their vicinity. Some of this data may be stored on the device itself and some may need to be requested by the service provider, such as Amazon, Nest, or Google. Devices like Ring can take video of anyone who visits a home and keep logs of who was allowed in.
Infotainment, Telematics and Event Data Recorders (EDR)
Vehicles contain digital systems for users to plan travel, monitor vehicle health, listen to or watch media, and operate hands-free personal devices. A digital forensics expert can collect data from various GPS devices, telematics units, and vehicle infotainment systems. Analysis of these devices can uncover residual data such as SMS messages intercepted by the vehicle and audio recordings of user commands.
Drones can be the subject of or peripheral evidence in an investigation. Most consumer drones have on-board cameras for photos and videos that are stored on a user’s smart phone or an attached MiniSD card. Some contain autopilot systems that follow GPS-programmed paths and account for weather conditions. Because the data contained on these systems may be relevant to a drone-related case, it is important to know that digital evidence may be retrieved from these like any other digital device.