Digital transformation risk management in forensic science laboratories

In this 2020 paper published in Forensic Science International, Casey and Souvignet present their ideas on how forensic laboratories with significant digital footprints should best prepare their operations to ensure their processes and digital data can be independently verified. Their recommendations come as they recognize how “digital transformations can undermine the core principles and processes of forensic laboratories” when those transformations are not planned and implemented well, risking the lab’s integrity as well as the fundamental rights of individuals being forensically examined. After a brief introduction, the authors then present five risk scenarios and four technological improvement scenarios, followed by a discussion of a series of risk management practices to ensure digital transformations in the forensic laboratory are optimized and effective. They finally touch upon the value of in-house expertise and quality assurance practices in the lab, before concluding that “with proper forethought and preparation, forensic laboratories can employ technology and advanced data analytics to enhance existing services and create new services, while respecting fundamental human rights.”

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