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School of Law

Digital forensics experts prone to bias, study shows

Professor Ian Walden was featured in The Guardian

A smart phone lock screen with code access

Devices such as phones, laptops and flash drives are becoming increasingly central to police investigations, but the reliability of digital forensics experts’ evidence has been called into question. A study found that experts tended to find more or less evidence on a suspect’s computer hard drive to implicate or exonerate them depending on the contextual information about the investigation that they were given. Ian Walden, Professor of Information and Communications Law at Queen Mary found that there was a tendency to believe the machine. He said: “This study shows that we need to be careful about electronic evidence. Not only should we not always trust the machine, we can’t always trust the person that interprets the machine.”

Read the full article in The Guardian.

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