Your administrators may conduct Google searches to compile evidence on a target to present at trial. This is a big mistake. Quite simply, Google search results can’t be trusted as evidence.
“Why?” you may ask. Many people are unaware that Google, Bing, and other search engines adjust their results in response to the person conducting the search. That’s right. Search engine results actually vary according to the location, previous search history, and other factors unique to the person doing the searching. As a result, search results often yield inconsistent results.
SMI Aware solves this dilemma through our proprietary search technology combined with expert analysis of online search results.
One example is the common example of an objection being raised against evidence collected online, due to how easily such evidence is manipulated. Web pages can be altered – a screenshot can be taken of the altered webpage – and the screenshot subsequently presented as evidence. It’s also possible to Photoshop images of people tweeting or writing things that they never actually tweeted or wrote. If you don’t believe that, consider that movie special effects are more spectacular with each new blockbuster. How difficult is it really to alter a block of text or insert an image on a page – especially with a potential judgment as an incentive?
This is why it is essential to demonstrate a chain of custody for any evidence collected. More important, it is imperative to be able to reproduce the results presented as evidence. If your administrator claims that she conducted a Google search and discovered particular evidence, she may find it impossible to yield the same results again – even using the same search query!
This doesn’t mean that your administrator is bad at her job – it means that conducting sensitive investigations should not be part of her job. SMI Aware has built proprietary technology and assembled a team of experts. It’s their job to document and prove that the evidence collected is legitimate, not altered, and valid for presentation at trial.
To see a sample report SMI Aware has prepared for a past client, check out our website. You’ll also learn more about how our service works – and how we can work with you.