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Mobile phone forensics is a type of electronic data gathering for legal evidence purposes. This is a useful tool for investigators as a method of gathering criminal evidence from a trail of digital data, which is often difficult to delete. Extraction of deleted mobile phone files used as criminal evidence is the primary work of mobile phone forensics investigators.
Types of mobile phone forensics include taped conversations, digital phone pictures, mobile phone texts or emails, phone number lists and sometimes even mobile phone digital video recordings. Once evidence is gathered for legal purposes, it can be saved and stored to prevent deletion or damage of important digital materials through systems developed for mobile phone data extraction. More often than not, mobile phone forensics are applied to digital data retrieval of deleted communications. These may aid legal teams or police detectives, resulting in legal evidence production and presentation.
Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population use mobile or cell phones. Even consumer purchases of these phones are constantly increasing with the phone memory capacities being constantly increased by manufacturers. Thus allowing users to secretly take photos, record conversations or video. Some organizations offer the consumer private investigation services to extract cell phone data revealing immoral activities such as marital infidelity.
However, the most common use of mobile phone forensics is by law enforcement. Digital data trails are easily left by mobile phones, so criminals must beware. Just as computer information is never truly deleted, the same applies to mobile phone information.
Because of the development of mobile phone forensics, law enforcement can more readily identify pedophiles, stalkers or harassers through mobile phone forensics. Persons experiencing medical emergencies also benefit from these forensics. For example, state or local agencies may automatically link addresses to their mobile phones, especially useful when cell phones are used to report emergencies.
For investigators in particular, a wide array of challenges can occur during the process of mobile-phone evidence gathering. Such hurdles can include formidable file systems within mobile phones, one-of-a-kind operating systems, a plethora of network systems and network providers. Nevertheless, patented cables and connectors also add to the challenge. Proper training of such investigators can combat some of the mobile phone complexities, but it is however, difficult to keep up with the fluidity and uniqueness of mobile phone technologies.