What is forensic video analysis?

Forensic Video Analysis is the scientific examination, comparison and/or evaluation of video in legal matters. Our forensic video analysis services assist the trier of fact to determine the authenticity of a video recording. Our forensic video analysis and video authentication services, such as tampering and edit detection, provide our clients with forensic testing to confirm the integrity of their video recordings. 

Digital video recordings aren’t always an accurate eyewitness. A common misbelief in the court systems today is that because a video may skip or jump that it automatically means it has been edited or manipulated. Furthermore, if a video doesn’t contain accurate metadata or an on screen time-code, it is not authentic.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ORIGINAL VIDEO RECORDING

We often receive evidence that has been improperly copied or maintained, which makes video authentication analysis difficult. The Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE & IOCE) defines Original Digital Evidence as: “The physical items and the data objects associated with such items at the time of acquisition or seizure.”

A copy reproduced as evidence is not an original. It’s important for everyone involved in the litigation to agree that the video is an authentic representation of the events. When video evidence has been extracted from the system that created it, it is susceptible to manipulation and tampering. It is so crucial to ensure that the chain of custody handling this copy is properly maintained.

CHAIN OF CUSTODY

It is important that the creator of a video recording provide chain of custody documentation. Chain of custody documentation explains the handling of evidence from the time of creation to time of disposition. Common questions answered in the documentation include:

  • Who created the recording?
  • What equipment was it created on?
  • Who had access to the recording?
  • What activity was performed to the video recording?

Another method used to investigate digital integrity is chain of custody analysis. Specific digital information about the system that created a recording strengthens a chain of custody’s authenticity. This assists the expert in gathering information to create any sample recordings needed for the investigation.

EVIDENCE RECOVERY

Evidence recovery is the best way to authenticate a digital video recording. This process preserves, extracts, and maintains the original video evidence and establishes an authentic chain of custody. Calling on a qualified forensic video analyst to recovering a recording from the original system ensures its integrity and authenticity is upheld. 

 

VIDEO AUTHENTICATION ANALYSIS

PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS

We inspect the video and perform initial testing to determine the scope of the investigation. We prefer to only enter investigations if we feel our forensic services will be of assistance to the case.

DIGITAL INTEGRITY VERIFICATION

Digital integrity verification testing will generally reveal any evidence of tampering first. The types of testing we perform include HASH verification, meta-data, EXIF and HEX testing to name a few. We can also provide exemplar (controlled sample) comparison testing to determine if a recording is consistent with what we would expect to see from an original.

PIXEL/FRAME ANALYSIS

Sometimes our investigations require further testing to confirm authenticity. Frame by frame, motion vector, macro-block as well as physical equipment testing are required to determine the authenticity of recordings based on the behavior of video pixels, as well as individual video frames.

FORENSIC VIDEO ANALYSIS EXPERT

When under oath, the expert witness has sworn to speak accurately and truthfully. Much like a deposition, courtroom testimony can be an intense situation for an expert. Our experts understand the process of direct and cross examination. When we prepare for testimony, we anticipate all questions possibly asked of us during direct and cross examination. We understand that our attorney clients will never ask a question that they don’t know the answer to. Again, educating the Trier of Fact is important to our experts so that the scientific analysis is understood in a simple, yet compelling manner.

After 35+ years in business testifying as a forensic video analysis expert, Edward Primeau, our lead forensics expert, has worked with and learned from some of the greatest trial lawyers in the world. This experience has strengthened Primeau Forensics’ expert witness performance in the court room. We have testified in local, state and federal courts all over the United States and have extensive experience helping legal teams develop a solid trial strategy. Click HERE to read what some of them have said.