Mon. Jun 27th, 2022
    en flag
    fr flag
    de flag
    pt flag
    es flag

    Recently Cellebrite, a leader in the development of digital intelligence tools that provide access to data and automation of analysis for investigators, examiners, and agencies, published their 2019 report on industry trends for law enforcement. The report consisted of a survey of more than 2,700 global law enforcement professionals with the goal of understanding what types of digital data are being used in modern-day investigations and what role does technology play in resolving those investigations.

    In 2017, global mobile devices and connections grew to 8.6 billion, and it is estimated that global mobile device traffic will reach almost one zettabyte annually by 2022 (1). These mobile-centric data points coupled with the fact that 85% of criminal investigations include some form of digital data (2) highlight the importance for data and legal discovery practitioners to have a working understanding of how the global law enforcement community considers digital data and devices in their investigative efforts. Provided below are selected extracts from the complete report from Cellebrite that may be beneficial for understanding, discussing, and addressing the challenges associated with data discovery on mobile devices.

    Extract #1: Five Key Report Findings (3)

    • Mobile phones are the most frequently used and most important digital source for investigations.
    • The variety of digital sources used in investigations in increasing and now includes sources such as wearables and smart home technology being used more frequently in investigations.
    • Two most common challenges to extracting data from mobile phones are locked phones and encrypted data.
    • Law enforcement agencies are averaging three-month backlogs on investigations.
    • Despite the backlogs and the variety of digital sources and the amount of digital data that typically need to be reviewed in an investigation, the vast majority of law enforcement agencies are reviewing this information manually instead of using analytics solutions.

    Extract #2: Most Frequently Reviewed Data Types in a Typical Investigation (4)

    % Is a Combination of Very Frequent and Frequent Responses

    • Images from Digital Evidence – 94%
    • Text Message – 93%
    • Social Media – 92%
    • Videos from Digital Evidence – 90%
    • Contacts – 90%
    • Location History from Digital Evidence – 86%
    • Interviews (Witness, Victim, Suspect) – 72%
    • Documents and Files – 80%
    • Email – 78%
    • CCTV Videos – 68%
    • Data from Internal Police Databases – 64%
    • Digital Data from Other Cases – 64%
    • Crime Scene Photos – 59%
    • Audio from Digital Evidence – 59%
    • CDRs – 53%
    • Fingerprints – 40%
    • DNA Analysis – 40%
    • Ballistics – 24%
    • Blood Splatter Analysis – 18%

    Although digital evidence cannot take the place of physical evidence, the results show it is an equally important source of information in many investigations.

    Extract #3 How Data is Reviewed from Forensic Extractions for a Case (5)

    • Reader Tool – 69%
    • Digital Analytics and Link Relationship Tool (e.g., IBM i2, Palantir, Cellebrite Analytics, etc.) – 26%
    • Printed Extraction Report and Mark with Highlighter – 22%
    • Microsoft Excel – 19%
    • CDR Analysis Tool (e.g., Pen-Link, Hawk Analytics, ZetX, Chorus, etc.) – 17%
    • Other – 7%

    The vast majority of investigators employ a “reader tool” to review data extracted from digital devices and sources.

    Read and download the complete report at Cellebrite Annual Industry Trend Survey 2019: Law Enforcement.



    1 “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2017–2022 White Paper”. Cisco, 2019, Accessed 2 Apr 2019.

    2 Cellebrite. Cellebrite Annual Industry Trend Survey 2019: Law Enforcement. Cellebrite, 2019, p. 3. Accessed 2 Apr 2019.

    3 Ibid, 4.

    4 Ibid, 9.

    5 Ibid, 13.

    Additional Reading


    Have a Request?

    If you have information or offering requests that you would like to ask us about, please let us know and we will make our response to you a priority.

    ComplexDiscovery is an online publication that highlights cyber, data, and legal discovery insight and intelligence ranging from original research to aggregated news for use by cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery professionals. The highly targeted publication seeks to increase the collective understanding of readers regarding cyber, data, and legal discovery information and issues and to provide an objective resource for considering trends, technologies, and services related to electronically stored information.

    ComplexDiscovery OÜ is a technology marketing firm providing strategic planning and tactical execution expertise in support of cyber, data, and legal discovery organizations. Focused primarily on supporting the ComplexDiscovery publication, the company is registered as a private limited company in the European Union country of Estonia, one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world. The company operates virtually worldwide to deliver marketing consulting and services.

    Early Lessons from the Cyber War: A New Microsoft Report on Defending Ukraine

    According to a new report from Microsoft, the Russian invasion relies...

    From Continuity to Culture? Preserving and Securing Ukrainian Public and Private Sector Data

    Highlighted by ComplexDiscovery prior to the start of the current Ukrainian...

    Considering Access Control Policy Models? Blockchain for Access Control Systems (NIST)

    As current information systems and network architectures evolve to be more...

    Friends in Low Places? The 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon

    The 15th Annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) from Verizon looked...

    TCDI to Acquire Aon’s eDiscovery Practice

    According to TCDI Founder and CEO Bill Johnson, “For 30 years,...

    Smarsh to Acquire TeleMessage

    “As in many other service industries, mobile communication is ubiquitous in...

    A Milestone Quarter? DISCO Announces First Quarter 2022 Financial Results

    According to Kiwi Camara, Co-Founder and CEO of DISCO, “This quarter...

    New from Nuix? Macquarie Australia Conference 2022 Presentation and Trading Update

    From a rebalanced leadership team to three concurrent horizons to drive...

    On the Move? 2022 eDiscovery Market Kinetics: Five Areas of Interest

    Recently ComplexDiscovery was provided an opportunity to share with the eDiscovery...

    Trusting the Process? 2021 eDiscovery Processing Task, Spend, and Cost Data Points

    Based on the complexity of cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery,...

    The Year in Review? 2021 eDiscovery Review Task, Spend, and Cost Data Points

    Based on the complexity of cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery,...

    A 2021 Look at eDiscovery Collection: Task, Spend, and Cost Data Points

    Based on the complexity of cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery,...

    Five Great Reads on Cyber, Data, and Legal Discovery for June 2022

    From eDiscovery ecosystem players and pricing to data breach investigations and...

    Five Great Reads on Cyber, Data, and Legal Discovery for May 2022

    From eDiscovery pricing and buyers to cyberattacks and incident response, the...

    Five Great Reads on Cyber, Data, and Legal Discovery for April 2022

    From cyber attack statistics and frameworks to eDiscovery investments and providers,...

    Five Great Reads on Cyber, Data, and Legal Discovery for March 2022

    From new privacy frameworks and disinformation to business confidence and the...

    Hot or Not? Summer 2022 eDiscovery Business Confidence Survey

    Since January 2016, 2,701 individual responses to twenty-six quarterly eDiscovery Business...

    Inflection or Deflection? An Aggregate Overview of Eight Semi-Annual eDiscovery Pricing Surveys

    Initiated in the winter of 2019 and conducted eight times with...

    Feeding the Frenzy? Summer 2022 eDiscovery Pricing Survey Results

    Initiated in the winter of 2019 and conducted eight times with...

    Surge or Splurge? Eighteen Observations on eDiscovery Business Confidence in the Spring of 2022

    In the spring of 2022, 63.5% of survey respondents felt that...