Acquisition and Preservation of Digital Evidence

what is digital evidence acquisition?

Digital evidence is fragile. It can be easily modified or destroyed if not properly preserved. Whether by accident or malicious intent, modification of any kind will discredit digital evidence as a credible source within litigation.


Data acquisition is the process of collecting and preserving digital data from a broad offering of devices, including iPhones, Androids, computers and more. Because evidence found within these devices can play a critical role in criminal cases, its acquisition should be preformed by qualified technicians. The experts at Primeau Forensics have extensive training in digital evidence acquisition and preservation and follow internationally recognized best practices.

types of digital devices



Digital Video recorder


SD Card

sim card

thumb drive


department of justice on digital evidence acquisition

When dealing with digital evidence, the US Department of Justice has outlined the following general forensic and procedural principles:


  • Actions taken to secure and collect digital evidence should not affect the integrity of that evidence.
  • Persons conducting an examination of digital evidence should be trained for that purpose.
  • Activity relating to the seizure, examination, storage, or transfer of digital evidence should be documented, preserved, and available for review.

Through all of this, the examiner should be cognizant of the need to conduct an accurate and impartial examination of the digital evidence.

chain of custody and recovery of digital evidence

Data acquisition is a form of ‘due diligence’ as it establishes an authentic chain of custody and preserves fragile evidence in multiple locations. In many cases, lost or deleted digital media is discovered during the data acquisition process. When this happens during Primeau Forensics’ acquisition process, we notify our clients and identify a strategy for the newly found digital media. This digital media can be in the form of chat logs, text messages, email communication, and GPS positioning, just to name a few.

For more information on data acquisition and the preservation of your digital evidence, please contact us for a pro bono consultation.

Primeau Forensics

Primeau Forensics