Personal Cell Phone Forensics


(upbeat music) Lee Neubecker(LN): I am here today, again, with Debbie Reynolds
and we’re going to talk about something interesting which every piece of
litigation now is getting into. We’re talking about cell phone forensics. So, what’s been your experience with litigation involving
cell phones and discovery? Debbie Reynolds (DR): Well,
whenever there are cell phones involved, the eye rolling begins because people take their
cell phones very personally, so, ya know, as opposed
to someone’s laptop, which maybe they don’t want to give up, like, they will fight tooth and nail not to give up their cell phones. And obviously people, they,
they mix work with pleasure they’re doing different things
they may not want you to see, even if it’s nothing criminal going on, people just feel very
tied to their cell phones. So the hardest thing is actually
getting possession of it and letting them know
that you’re not going to look through their juicy
texts or their photographs, especially if it’s not
an issue in the case. LN: I know that whenever you
need to get into text messages it becomes a sensitive topic for people, but there are effective ways
to get effective discovery without totally trampling
over someone’s privacy. DR: Yeah. LN: In many issues
involving contract disputes or other civil litigation, what’s important is to identify
the relevant custodians. So, let’s say, we have your cell phone and the conversation with mine, we can then take that, we can
create a single PDF document showing each conversation thread and then, ya know, you
can quickly go through if it’s your phone and,
with your attorney, identify relevant, not relevant, and then only take the ones that are between the relevant parties and load that up into the review platform. DR: Right, and to, one thing, one very effective thing
that people are doing now, and this is something that you do, Lee, is where someone, they
don’t want the other side to see their whole cell phone, so they’ll have a forensic
company collect the phone and say, “only give them X.” LN: Exactly. DR: So, that’s actually
a very, very secure way and gives people peace
of mind knowing that they’re not giving everything
over, that the forensic folks can actually do some of this pre-work before people actually
start looking at things. LN:Yeah, and like, what I’ve done is, they’re not going to pay me to spend time looking at their photos, nor do I want to look at that stuff. DR: No, no one cares. I think that’s what
people don’t understand. Like, we see, we’ve been working
on cases for over 20 years, and I really don’t care
what’s on the phone or what you said, or
what video’s on there. It really makes no difference to us. LN: What I try to do, is I try to quickly create,
almost, a summary index of, “okay, these are the
conversation threads, “tell me which phone numbers
are relevant, aren’t relevant, “who are the relevant parties?” And then we can just pull
those specific threads out and put them up into the review platform. DR: Exactly. LN: Now, sometimes there’s
issues where photos are relevant. DR: Right. LN: Specifically, if you’re,
if it’s important that you know the whereabouts of someone
on a given date and time, photos often can establish whether or not someone was really at home sick, or out on vacation somewhere. DR: Right. LN: There’s embedded GPS
data that is recorded into most photos that are
taken with smartphones. DR: Right. DR: Unless someone
decides to strip it out. So, I think if you
don’t do anything to it, it will collect that data, but there are ways to
strip that information out, and also, ya know, people often, can turn off GPS tracking on their phone. LN: Well, thanks for being
on the show again today. DR: Well thank you for having me.

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