I could not agree more with the views of Glen McGorty from Crowell & Moring who sets out how smartphones are becoming a greater risk in terms of white collar crime. They have obviously grown not just in their popularity and sophistication but also how integrated they are with workplace applications and functions. Therefore they require specific consideration when looking to investigate, or prevent, white collar crime.
To that end it is important that they are considered early in an investigation and treated appropriately. This may depend on the legalities of being able to access them as well as the make/model of the device - as each variant has its own quirks and nuances. If accessible, though, these devices can be a very rich vein of intelligence that should be fully incorporated into an investigation.
It should also not stop with the physical devices. A common additional or alternative source are backups of these devices which have a tendency to proliferate around computers that they have been connected to as well as the Cloud. It is equally important that these are considered and analysed. In one recent investigation, we managed to identify four prior devices that were no longer physically accessible but the backups of them spanned a period of time that was vital for the investigation.
The article goes on to discuss ephemeral data which is also a growing concern in investigations, see my recent post on exactly this: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-what-ephemeral-data-phil-beckett/
Smartphones are a universal fact of life in business today, where they help companies increase speed and productivity. But when it comes to potential white collar investigations and litigation, they are raising some difficult questions about preserving and accessing data. Smartphones have not only proliferated in recent years, they’ve also become more sophisticated, expanded to encompass a broader range of functions, and added increasingly powerful security, including password protection, biometric access control, and data encryption. And they’ve become deeply interwoven in people’s lives. As a result, “Many companies have a ‘bring your own device’ culture, allowing people to use their own phones for business purposes,” says Glen McGorty, a Crowell & Moring partner and a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.