With the world around us becoming increasingly digitized and video surveillance becoming more prevalent, security and law enforcement personnel have become faced with a growing level of digital evidence; in fact, some would suggest that effective investigations, loss control, liability reduction and safety enforcement now hinges on such evidence to remain effective.
As this evidence becomes more voluminous, so does the demand for it — a dual threat that has created its own unique challenges in the pursuit of accurate, efficient, and fair handling of public safety. While I am a stark opposer of those who believe technological “advances” in security implementation (like those rooted in artificial intelligence and machine learning) can replace sound policy backed with human enforcement; the reality is that advancements in body cameras, mobile surveillance equipment and digital evidence management reflect an inevitable industry shift toward video, log file and technology-aided reporting. This shift toward technology must be analyzed and handled properly to maintain a seamless chain of custody order and fluidity in regards to aiding investigative and reporting efforts. That said, these advancements have come with their own unique obstacles as they are implemented at a broader level.
These are, in my opinion, three significant considerations to identify when discussing digital evidence management.
Digital evidence management is an ever-changing concept reflecting an ever-changing environment; this is perhaps its most crucial characteristic. Furthermore, you have to budget and procure technologies that can be upgraded and stay current for at least five years to assure validity and interoperability. Approaches have already shifted to analyze and accommodate evidence collected from smartphones, body cameras, and mobile surveillance technologies such as drone units; this all boils down to a fairly basic notion: the now breakneck pace of crime — especially that contained within the cyber sector — has warranted an equally fast reaction amongst law enforcement and security officials. Today, nearly all investigations feature some degree of digital evidence gathered in such a manner, and this increases the likelihood of evidence being overlooked due to …
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