Cell Phone Forensics

The primary goal of cell phone forensics is to recover, preserve, and interpret electronic evidence for investigative or legal purposes.


About Cell Phone Forensics

Cell phone forensics, also known as mobile phone forensics, is a specialized branch of digital forensics that examines and analyzes data stored on mobile devices, such as cell phones, smartphones, tablets, and other portable electronic devices. The primary goal of cell phone forensics is to recover, preserve, and interpret electronic evidence for investigative or legal purposes.

Cell phone forensics is often utilized in various scenarios, including criminal investigations, civil litigation, employee misconduct cases, and cybersecurity incidents. It can provide valuable information to law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, and private investigators to understand a suspect’s or a user’s activities, communications, and interactions.


About Our Cell Phone Forensic Team

Team leader Michael Naughton is a highly experienced attorney with 20 years of experience in the field of digital privacy and technology law. He has a proven track record in Michigan and nationwide, handling matters involving iPhone forensics, Android forensics, Cellebrite report review, and artificial intelligence. He is also a frequent speaker on these topics at legal and industry conferences.

The Team provides clients with risk mitigation in a wide range of matters involving digital privacy, including:

  • Data breach investigations
  • Corporate digital compliance
  • Corporate privacy compliance
  • Intellectual property litigation
  • Employment law disputes
  • White Collar Criminal Defense

We also work extensively with artificial intelligence, including:

  • Developing and implementing AI-powered legal research tools
  • Using AI text-to-speech recognition software to make massive discoveries searchable
  • Advising clients on the use of AI in their businesses
  • Researching the legal implications of AI

Mr. Naughton’s Presentations and Publications

  • Privacy 2021: You May Have to Think Twice with That Phone Recording, ICLE Family Law Institute (November 2021)
  • Law Firms Under Cyber-Siege, Master Lawyers Section State Bar of Michigan, (Spring, 2018)
  • A Modern Practice, GTLA Bar Association Presentation (April 2018)
  • How to Stay Out of Legal Trouble, Startology presentation (October 2017)
  • Practicing Smarter to Save Time and Money, Michigan Assigned Appellate Attorney Service (November 2016)
  • MIDC Compliance and the Upper Peninsula, State Bar of Michigan (October 2016)
  • Update on MIDC, Circuit Court Judges for SCAO Region III & IV (October 2016)
  • Update on MIDC, District Court Judges for SCAO Region III & IV (October 2016)
  • Update on MIDC, Court Staff for SCAO Region III & IV (September 2016)
  • Report on Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (June 2016)
  • A frequent guest on The Ron Jolly Show, WTCM AM 580, speaks live, on the air, concerning issues involving technology and the law
  • Stored Communications Act and Entrepreneurs, TCNewTech (October 2015)
  • Managing E-Discovery Costs, ICLE (July 2015)
  • Electronic Discovery and the Canada Evidence Act, Upper Canada Legal Institute
  • Featured in “New Technology, Traditional Legal Tests” Canadian Lawyer
  • Appeared on Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ as an expert for a live, in-studio interview on the Target credit card breach (December 2013)
  • Buttressing Your Investigation with Cell Phone Data, Institute for Criminal Justice Education, Auburn University, Alabama (September 2013)
  • Seeing is Believing: Presenting Electronic Evidence to a Jury, Upper Michigan Legal Institute (May 2013)
  • ESI as a Teaching Tool for Juries, Michigan Young Lawyers Section (June 2013)Opening the Large Paper Case in the Digital Age, CJA Panel Attorneys Seminar (September 2012)
  • FBA Panel Discussion with Judge Robert Cleland, Judge David Lawson, Daniel Lemisch, Chief of the Criminal Division (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Detroit), FBI Special Agent Matthew Zentz, and Joseph Richotte on ESI and federal criminal practice (May 2012)
  • Criminal Defense Series: Trial Strategy and Tactics, ICLE (June 2012)
  • The Nimble and the Lazy: ESI and Criminal Practice, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan Spring Conference (March 2012)
  • Advanced Overview of New Forms of Electronic Discovery, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan Fall Conference (November 2011)
  • Electronic Discovery, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, Spring Conference (March 2011)


About the Process

    It is essential to follow strict procedures and maintain the chain of custody throughout the process to ensure the evidence remains admissible in court.

    Legal and ethical considerations are vital in cell phone forensics, as they involve handling sensitive and private information. Investigators must adhere to applicable laws and regulations, obtain proper authorization or consent when required, and respect individual privacy rights.

    Cell phone forensics faces new challenges as technology evolves due to encryption, advanced security features, and changing mobile device models. Forensic experts must continuously update their knowledge and techniques to stay ahead of these advancements.

    The process of cell phone forensics typically involves the following steps:

    1. Acquisition: The mobile device is acquired and secured to prevent data loss or tampering. Various methods can be used for this, including physical extraction, logical extraction (backup files), or live data acquisition.
    2. Examination: Investigators use specialized tools and software to examine the acquired data from the mobile device. This process involves recovering deleted data and analyzing call logs, text messages, emails, social media activities, multimedia files, internet browsing history, and other relevant data.
    3. Analysis: The extracted data is analyzed to identify patterns, connections, and potential evidence related to the case. This step may involve reconstructing timelines, correlating communication patterns, and verifying the authenticity of data.
    4. Reporting: The findings from the examination and analysis are documented in a formal report detailing the evidence discovered, the methodology used, and any relevant conclusions.

    No matter your IT goals, Cyber Protect offers all the IT services your business needs to succeed.

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