Augmented Reality & Computer Forensics: Notes from PFIC 2013

The 6th Paraben Computer Forensic Conference was held in Snowbird, Utah November 13-15, 2013.

I love PFIC because it is a content driven show.  Amber Schroader, CEO of Paraben Corporation, kicked off the lecture track of the conference by addressing computer forensics in mobile devices and BYOD.

The next generation of employees will have no idea life would be like without the Internet, will ignore BYOD policies and have a different view of personal privacy from anyone born before 2000.

They will also never use a mouse.

Amber highlighted the challenges in mobile forensics. There are currently 1.8 million different smartphones. There is a new Android operating system every few months. And the kicker: over 70% of data on a Windows mobile device are in cloud storage. The device is a handheld portal to a cloud.

My mind instantly spun to the Stored Communication Act and jumping through rings of fire in issuing third-party subpoenas in order to get data, and how to avoid having to do that.

Amber’s solution to this challenge would surprise a few people: Install an app on the Window’s device to extract the cloud based data in a forensically sound manner. This would surprise those who are used to saying “spoliation” because you are changing the device. While that would be true with most computers and phones, preserving cloud-based discovery requires different preservation techniques.

PFIC_5611Greg Kipper spoke on the “future,” highlighting how technology will change ways we live. One provocative idea was robotic elderly care for the Baby Bombers.

Naturally thinking about liability, there could be some strange product liability and elder abuse cases with data from a “Care-bot” in the not-to-distant future.

Greg also discussed augmented reality. AR can have applications from heads-up displays in cars to a darker vision of the future. Greg closed his presented with the following video:

I really hope that never becomes reality.

I spoke on the taxation of eDiscovery costs. This was a new presentation that highlighted the challenges in understanding the state of the law, successful arguments in some jurisdictions and unsuccessful arguments in others.

I was very happy to have The Legal Geeks (my blog with Jessica Mederson) be the press sponsor of the PFIC Casino Night. The theme was Get Your Geek On. With the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who on November 23, I had no trouble with the theme.


I want to commend Paraben on another great PFIC. This was the first show that had activities planned for families, with many attendees bringing their spouses and children to the conference. Job well done on the sessions, conference and being family friendly.