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Protecting Third Party Privacy in Digital Forensic Investigations

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The privacy of third parties is an important issue in digital forensic investigations. The typical steps followed during an investigation require that the equipment used during the commission of the crime be seized and analyzed in a manner that complies with accepted investigative policy and practice. The analysis of the data on the seized equipment provides the investigator, who may not necessarily be associated with a law enforcement agency, with the opportunity to access personally identifiable information of persons or entities who may not be linked to the crime; this is especially true in multi-user environments. This paper considers the key aspects surrounding privacy protection of third parties during the post mortem data analysis phase of digital forensic investigations. It proposes a framework that helps protect privacy without reducing the effectiveness of an investigation. The design includes a profiling component that analyzes a search corpus and a filtering component that calculates the diversity in the search results. Depending on the sensitivity level, the search results are either filtered out or are presented to the investigator. © IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013.




van Staden, W. (2013). Protecting Third Party Privacy in Digital Forensic Investigations. In IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology (Vol. 410, pp. 19–31).

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