The amount of technology at our fingertips is greater than ever. It’s also a higher risk for potential fraud and subsequent legal activity.
Recent technological trends like wearable technology or mobile applications are just as susceptible to being hacked as a standard desktop or laptop. Learning how these continually evolving technologies are used to not only track our information but also aid in litigation through computer forensic and eDiscovery situations is an ongoing process.
Electronically stored information from technology applications can make your court case.
The Risks of Wearable Devices
Wearable devices are part of an overall category of electronics termed “The Internet of Things.” This category includes items connected online through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular data, etc. Like all devices that are constantly connected to the internet, they can be discovered and exploited.
Many employers use information from wearable devices such as fitness trackers to provide deductibles and benefits to their employees. Each connection to the wearable is a link that must be vetted for security. And one of the major problems is that this data is stored outside of your own internal network of devices. The issue becomes especially serious with smaller companies. Security of these devices is not a new issue, but it is an expensive one. Even for the most successful companies, it takes a conscious effort to maintain a secure environment for the data.
So why exactly are these wearables so vulnerable?
Legal Considerations of Wearable Technology
Wearable technology collects an impressive amount of information about us: our emails and texts, our locations, our overall health and more. With this level of knowledge about our daily lives, wearable technologies are creating new questions surround their use:
All this data is also transmitted up to a cloud storage service that is hosted by a company and transmitted to be shown to you on a website or device owned by possibly another company altogether, on channels that are also owned by companies—and each of these paths create giant vulnerabilities to this data.
How do you track down the electronically stored information you need for your case?
Using this personal information, there will always be issues of privacy concerns. Differentiating between public, discoverable information, what is private and what requires authorization to disclose will be a matter of debate.
There’s no doubt that wearable technology can contain electronically stored information such as text messages, email and other information to corroborate that of the synced host device, but the relevance of this information will be up to the attorney of the matter.
The Risks of Financial Management Applications
Bank-specific apps allow you to quickly access your personal information and transfer funds, as well as take the information from your accounts and aggregate it for easy analysis of your spending habits.
These apps are a convenient way to manage and keep track of finances, or to quickly transfer money. But any time finances are concerned, security should be a top priority. When considering the full risk of using financial management apps, it’s important to understand the dangers and legal ramifications, as well as how you can minimize your risk.
For money management applications specifically, it is important to be aware of whether you are creating an account with that service itself or simply plugging in your account information. The level of risk completely depends on the type of application, as well as your assurance that it is legitimate and your willingness to provide your personal information.
Other ways to stay secure include:
Other Areas of Technology to Consider
There are other areas of technology that can cause potential risk and possible litigation, including:
Social media sites and applications contain sensitive data that have the potential to be used in a court case. Forensic experts can preserve items like Facebook chats, posts or a page, YouTube videos and their associated metadata and Twitter and Instagram posts. LinkedIn, in particular, is filled with valuable information that can be used in employment law, litigation, patent or intellectual property law.
The data on your phone can be critical in several types of court cases. This can include pictures, videos, deleted text messages and so on. Knowing how to extract it, included deleted files, in a court permissible way is essential.
Cryptocurrency tracing is important in any litigation case. Utilizing state of the art forensic tools, advisors and legal experts can track the movement of cryptocurrency to public addresses. This allows cryptocurrency to be traced to an exchange or other source to identify the beneficiaries of the transaction. This information can be vital in a number of legal proceedings, including bankruptcy, divorce, fraud or corruption, insurance claims and more.
The Role of Forensics in Technology
Technology has made a huge impact in our lives. It has also produced substantial data that can be used to uncover sensitive details of a court case. The information these technologies provide to cyber forensic and eDiscovery investigators is invaluable in helping uncover the facts for your client.
How can you use data from these technologies in court? It begins with an eDiscovery plan.