Privacy impact assessment in large-scale digital forensic investigations

Bas Seyyar, M. & Geradts, Z. J. M. H., Jun-2020, In : Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation. 33, 9 p., 200906.

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The large increase in the collection of location, communication, health data etc. from seized digital devices like mobile phones, tablets, IoT devices, laptops etc. often poses serious privacy risks. To measure privacy risks, privacy impact assessments (PIA) are substantially useful tools and the Directive EU 2016/80 (Police Directive) requires their use. While much has been said about PIA methods pursuant to the Regulation EU 2016/679 (GDPR), less has been said about PIA methods pursuant to the Police Directive. Yet, little research has been done to explore and measure privacy risks that are specific to law enforcement activities which necessitate the processing of large amounts of data. This study tries to fill this gap by conducting a PIA on a big data forensic platform as a case study. This study also answers the question how a PIA should be carried out for large-scale digital forensic operations and describes the privacy risks, threats we learned from conducting it. Finally, it articulates concrete privacy measures to demonstrate compliance with the Police Directive.
Original languageEnglish
Article number200906
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International: Digital Investigation
Early online date18-Mar-2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2020


  • Privacy impact assessment (PIA), Data protection impact assessment (DPIA), Big data forensics, Privacy, Directive EU 2016/80, Police directive, Law enforcement directive, Big data, Digital forensics

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