A preliminary assessment of latent fingerprint evidence damage on mobile device screens caused by digital forensic extractions

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    Abstract

    Mobile devices continue to feature heavily in criminal investigations and often bear multiple forms of
    potentially relevant evidence. In the context of identifying the owner of a device, both latent
    fi
    ngerprints
    and resident digital data may be crucial to investigations, yet each individual process may have a
    detrimental impact on the other. Fingerprint development techniques are known to impact device
    hardware, whilst digital extraction processes can destroy latent prints. This article examines the impact
    of mobile device extraction procedures on resident screen
    fi
    ngerprints. The impact of bare
    fi
    ngered,
    cotton gloved, latex gloved and stylus screen press and swipes on latent print destruction are examined.
    Results indicate that all forms of interaction cause print damage, but to a variable extent. Provisional
    device handling recommendations are offered
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-56
    Number of pages10
    JournalDigital Investigation
    Volume27
    Early online date11 Oct 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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