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Digital Investigations: The Future Of Voice Processing

By Expert Author: Nathan Wilson

Multiple influences are likely to increase the requirement to search voice data. As the technology evolves we may see an increase in the number of companies recording their telephone conversations for exactly this purpose.

Voice data has long been a useful avenue of investigation or source of disclosable information for civil litigation, particularly within the financial sector, where the recording of traders’ conversations (either over the phone or face-to-face) is insisted upon by regulators. There are two main methods: transcription and phoneme searching.

With every year that passes users are becoming more aware of the most common avenues of investigation that a digital investigations company will use to locate relevant (and potentially incriminating) information. For example, it is now not uncommon for individuals who are ‘up to no good’ to avoid putting any details of their actions into emails or electronically stored documents. However, the requirement to ‘discuss it’ still exists, and we are seeing a movement towards methods of communication that are perceived to be more private, specifically phone calls, text messages and instant messaging chat.

From 2010 onwards, financial regulators have been using less obvious sources, such as social media, instant messaging and voice data looked to harvest crucial evidence. In some major financial cases crucial evidence has been obtained from voice data, for instance in the LIBOR investigation. As an upshot of these cases, digital investigators are very interested in voice and messaging data, as people generally do not ask for favours or break rules over emails; they do so on chat and voice messaging systems. Investigators are also aided by the fact that most FCA regulated firms must record their voice data.

Specifically within the financial services sector, instant messaging ‘chat’ has been used on a number of occasions as a source of intelligence for investigations or data for disclosure. In November 2013 instant messaging was identified by a number of banks as a potential ‘weak point’ through which traders have been seen to be discussing ‘market topics’. In response to the LIBOR scandal of 2013 a number of banks have now banned their traders from accessing these communal chat facilities in favour of their traders having ‘one-to-one’ conversations over the phone.

In summary, there are many influences which are likely to increase the requirement to search voice data. The capability to do this is of course reliant on these conversations being recorded. As technology evolves we may see an increase in the number of companies recording their telephone conversations for exactly this purpose. It is worth being mindful of these evolving methods and considering voice recordings when scoping your next exercise. Many companies have an on-site voicemail system which may also hold recorded voice data.

For more information on voice data or CCL’s other products and services, call us on 01789 261200, email edisclosure@cclgroupltd.com or visit www.cclgroupltd.com

For more information on electronic disclosure, please call CCL on 01789 261200 or email contact@cclgroupltd.com, or check out http://www.cclgroupltd.com/e-disclosure.

Author Bio:
Nathan is an e-disclosure specialist at CCL Group - the UK’s leading supplier of Edisclosure and digital forensics consultancy, including: computer forensics, mobile phone forensics and Digital Forensic Investigation services, for more information visit www.cclgroupltd.com

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