If devices are collecting data about us all, all of the time, forever onward — data that we knowingly create (text messages, for example), data we passively allow to be collected (geo-location, for example), data that is collected about us constantly without our knowledge — it is not an extreme leap to suggest that other people are able to climb into our minds and the minutiae of our lives as they never could before.
Show a computer forensics expert someone’s personal computer, his smart phone, and so on, and it is possible she will come to know that person, perhaps as well as the subject’s own family knows him. Maybe better.
Lawyers and courts are making progress toward harnessing these breath-taking new technologies and capabilities, as noted in yesterday’s post.
See the linked recent order from the U.S. District Court (D. Minn.) about an e-discovery protocol. “SHA-1 hash values”? “Parent and child documents”? “Filtering ESI against NSRL NIST file listing”? “300 dpi CCITT Group Four compression black & white single page tiff images”? Try finding such terms in a court order about electronic discovery just a few years ago.
And if these terms are completely foreign to you and your law firm, you better study up. Whether you embrace the digital age or curse it, we live in it and we work in it.