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A Closer Look at Cell Phone Data Extraction
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2 Major Challenges in Cell Phone Surveillance

Like it or not, cell phones have become a way of life. We use them for communication, Internet access and even as portable media or gaming devices, but for some, a cell phone may also be a keyhole into another person’s life. USA Investigators  has noted an increase in data extraction requests as cell phones have risen in popularity, but as with all new and exciting technology, the software and means available aren’t perfect.

Challenges in cell phone surveillance can arise in a number of ways. However, knowing what these challenges are allows us to address them and hopefully avoid them in the future.

Challenge #1 – Human Error

As with many cases where human action is required to carry out a job, more than a few of the challenges involved in cell phone surveillance can be directly attributed to human error. These include:

  • Too much data: A forensic examiner can review data from dozens of phones a single day, making it difficult to recall any one cell phone or a case in any depth without additional reviewing.
  • Too many phones: There are a great number of makes and models of mobile phones on the market, and surveillance capabilities often rely on the responsibility of the forensic investigator to remain up to date on the current market.
  • Not enough time: With many forensic investigations, time can be a huge challenge for the investigator. Unlike computers, humans can only work so many hours a day.

Challenge #2 – Technology Restrictions

Other challenges in cell phone surveillance may sometimes be attributed to restrictions in technology. Just as there is always a new phone on the market, there are only so many options for data extraction currently in place. There is often a fine line between these competing factors.

  • New Technology:  With Bluetooth, WiFi, Infrared and wireless networking opportunities, there is a growing demand for data extraction techniques to compete with new technology.
  • New Techniques: These new techniques may or may not currently be able to meet the demands of new technology. For instance, isolating one singular cell phone from a network might not always be possible.
  • Restricted Access: Access to the cell phone may be impeded by external devices, such as hard drives, removal storage devices, or online storage facilities. These must be identified in order to verify any data that has been collected.

As Technology Develops, so Must the Data Extraction Techniques

We have come to realize that as new cell phones, technology, and supporting devices develop and become available, so must the development of cell phone surveillance software. There will always be challenges in cell phone surveillance, but with a keen eye for the latest trends, information and techniques, you can be sure that the investigation professionals at USA Investigators will always remain one step ahead of the curve.