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10 New Jobs Created by the Internet of Things

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E-discovery Investigator
When Dr. Conrad Murray was tried for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Michael Jackson, his iPhone was entered as evidence. That trial was in 2011, and mobile devices have only become more critical in criminal investigation. © Mario Anzuoni-Pool/Getty Images
When Dr. Conrad Murray was tried for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Michael Jackson, his iPhone was entered as evidence. That trial was in 2011, and mobile devices have only become more critical in criminal investigation. © Mario Anzuoni-Pool/Getty Images

Digital devices, like some children, make for wonderful tattle tales. They hold the evidence of many wrongdoings. You just have to find a way to tease the truth out of them. That's what e-discovery investigators and computer forensics teams do.

Keep in mind that one of the key aspects of the IoT is that each connected device is uniquely identifiable. That fact should have lawyers licking their lips in anticipation and criminals rubbing their temples with worry. As more and more devices hop online, they transmit and store data that's incredibly useful for criminal investigations and civil litigation.

Investigators must understand how to uncover, collect and analyze data from a diverse array of electronics, and they must document their processes in a manner that passes muster with a judge.

For example, smartphones are increasingly common sources of evidence. Criminals both stupid and smart often carry these devices, and in doing so, they leave behind digital footprints that sometimes lead right to the scene of a crime. To paint a picture of wrongdoing to a jury, though, a forensics investigator must pick apart phone logs, instant message transmissions and a lot of other bits and bytes in a way that's logical and accurate.

But smartphones are just one of the more obvious puzzle pieces. In the IoT, investigators are blessed with a multitude of devices that they can scour for data. The flip side is that there are so many interconnecting pieces that it might take them a lot longer to find all of the data they need to nail down the specifics of single case.

It also means that these digital detectives need a variety of interdisciplinary skills in order to best do their jobs. They need to understand both hardware and software and how to crack open both using the most current tools. They also need to understand the psychology of offenders. Even with a lot of high-tech tools at their disposal, it's easier for cops to catch a criminal if they learn to think like one.


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