Issues with digital media in law enforcement

It is imperative that law enforcement images are available and admissible as needed.

While a convenient option for short-term storage, digital media are physically and economically unsuitable for long-term archiving. Images stored on CDs could begin to degrade chemically in just a few years, if not sooner. Images stored on hard drives are subject to mechanical failure, magnetic failure and loss caused by the future obsolescence of today’s hardware and software. Furthermore, the ongoing cost of migrating data from one system to another as technology changes can be prohibitive.

Many of today’s digital images will become unusable and unrecoverable within 10 years. When these images are lost, so is their value as evidence.

SWGIT agrees, stating that "while optical media has been shown through common experience to be sufficient for short to moderate-term storage, it is inadequate for archiving."