The most important factor affecting the collection of digital data and its impact on obtaining evidence in a criminal case
A significant factor affecting the collection of data is the lack of familiarity and inappropriate use of the devices, hence derailing the efforts of attaining the expected goals and objectives of obtaining evidence in a given criminal case. Some of the most used devices for collecting data are mobile devices, which are getting more familiar to people worldwide (Sunde & Dror, 2019). Nevertheless, some of the apps used for collecting data are complex and require thorough training and prowess for an end-user to use the device effectively.
Inappropriate use of the device hence has a significant adverse effect or a failure to be familiar with the appropriate of the data. This is a factor that can lead to the delivery of sensitive information to third parties and the public, which is an infringement of the right to privacy. Inappropriate use of the devices could also lead to a possibility of data fabrication by the persons collecting the data, which is unethical and against the moral standards and guidelines (Sunde, 2017). There is also a possibility for a device to be targeted for theft, mainly if the person collecting data uses an expensive device for the activity, more so in high crime areas, which is a significant security concern that ought to be observed prior to the data collection process.
Importance of Big Data in enhancing or finding evidence in a criminal or civil violation investigation
Big Data entails a large volume of data, both structured and unstructured, which helps in running a business or any given operation on a day to day business. Big Data is critical because it helps an organization create a new growth opportunity and helps in natural combination and analysis of industry data. By having Big Data, an institution can acquire ample information about given services and activities in case of criminal investigations (Hu, 2018). It is hence vital in enhancing or finding evidence in a criminal or civil violation investigation. It revolves around how the criminal investigation institution utilizes the collecting data, and how it conducts its analyses on the data getting investigated.
Big data can help in a better understanding of the condition of a criminal activity or operation, where comprehensive details of the investigation can be critically evaluated. Police and other investigative bodies are turning to big data to help them with various criminal cases since big data is a valuable tool for law enforcement (Khan, Ansari, Dhalvelkar, & Computer, 2017). It helps in enhancing record-keeping, where it is now easier to store and access records.
Posts on social media platforms, for example, could be used to implicate a defendant, where big data analytics can help in efficiently finding and verifying the posts. Big data is able to easily find any given information on the internet, which can be vital for criminal cases. Connecting dots in a criminal case is another immense importance of Big Data (Hu, 2018). It has a data analytics system that can help make critical connections between data points that seem unrelated to the normal human eyes. This is through the use of an algorithm that predicts how defendants will act, and a court of law uses the findings in making a decision on an essential aspect of a given case.
Hu, J. (2018). Big Data Analysis of Criminal Investigations. In 2018 5th International Conference on Systems and Informatics , 649-654.
Khan, S., Ansari, F., Dhalvelkar, H. A., & Computer, S. (2017). Criminal investigation using Call Data Records (CDR) through Big Data technology. In 2017 International Conference on Nascent Technologies in Engineering, 1-5.
Sunde, N. (2017). Non-technical sources of errors when handling digital evidence within a criminal investigation (Master’s thesis, Politihøgskolen and NTNU, Faculty of Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Security and Communication Technology).
Sunde, N., & Dror, I. E. (2019). Cognitive and human factors in digital forensics: Problems, challenges, and the way forward. Digital Investigation.