Forensic readiness plan is important in helping companies to recover from the impacts of using digital technology. Digital technology has been adopted by companies to improve efficiency on operations but still poses dangers due to security issues. Despite adequate security measures put in place by organizations, criminals are coming up with sophisticated strategies to commit a crime. It is essential to have a readiness plan to allow companies manage the threats posed by security threats. The plan additionally provides a fast recovery method for companies such as ATS to recover and remain in operation (Sule, 2014).
Technology, people, and process are the three requirements of establishing a readiness plan. People refer to the personnel who have the technical expertise in forensic investigation. These personnel conduct investigation in the event of occurrence of an incidence. They should have the right skills to get to the root of the matter. Processes are the procedures followed to unearth facts of an occurrence. The processes are followed strictly by the personnel. Technology is the system in place, which allows forensic investigators to use, establish processes to collect, retrieve and analyze information (Buckingham, 2015).
Jackson’s should not be searched for digital evidence. Employers should consider the doctrine of reasonable expectation. Even if employers have control over the business premise, the fourth amendment guarantees privacy for all the employees. The fourth amendment serves to restrict the powers of employers on privacy issues by preventing unjustified trespass to privacy.
A private company like ATS can conduct searches on public areas that accessed by all employees. It can additionally conduct searches in areas where employees do not feel any justification for privacy. A company does not have a right to search private lockers of employees, as it will undermine their privacy. Jackson’s locker is private property, and the employer is not warranted to search. Mr. Roberts can only search after receiving consent from Jackson (KPMG, 2015).
Jackson’s locker can only be opened with a master key if it can be ascertained that he has left the company. The company should go ahead to open the locker if they are justified that Jackson has taken his items. The fact that Jackson has been notified of the termination of his services and has proceeded to leave the premises; he no longer has the right to access Company’s property. The desk is the property of the company, and it can resort to using a master key to open it since the employee has left (Sule, 2014).
An employee who has been terminated forfeits the right to privacy irrespective of the state of the locker. Jackson forfeits this privacy from the fact that he has left the company. It is expected that employees leave with their personal belongings upon the termination of their contracts.
Mr. Roberts should note that involving the police in this investigation would change the entire investigation. Police officers are public officials and as such must follow all the legal provisions in conducting the investigation. Their conduct is further regulated by the bill of rights and the various amendments to the constitution. The fourth amendment, in this case, will be used, and all the procedures will be conducted in line with the provision. The investigation will be stricter with fears that the courts would rule that the search was unwarranted (Sule, 2014).
Involving the police in the investigation will mean that the police will seek a search warrant from the court. In case the warrant is given, it will go ahead to search the desk and collect all the digital evidence. The police will additionally be required to handle the evidence carefully. Destruction of property under the hands of the police is a violation of the fourth amendment (KPMG, 2015).
The fact that the employee failed to append his signature in the handbook matters a lot in this scenario. Failure to sign the handbook means that the employee did not consent to random searches. The company cannot go ahead to search since there is no contract between the two parties. The case between Wal-Mart Stores v Lee 74 SW 3d 634 serves as an example where the court awarded Walmart employee damages worth $1.6 million for illegal confiscation of goods that were thought to be the property of the company. Walmart had failed to observe the fourth amendment by conducting an unwarranted search. In the case above, the employee provided limited consent that was violated by the company. It applies to Jackson’s case who has not consented to any random search by the company (KPMG, 2015).
It is not right to search Jackson for potential digital evidence. Consent to search and the right to privacy is applicable in this case. It is only expected that Jackson be subjected to a search for possible weapons that could pose a danger in the workplace. The employee understands the kind of search conducted at the checkpoint, and the notice put at the checkpoint supports this. The consent for a search is present in this case but is only subjected to weapons and dangerous items (Sule, 2014).
The move to search Jackson is based on suspicion, and there is no proof that Jackson has committed any crime. The courts have held that employers are justified in conducting searches on employees on a work-related issue. The search is however limited to it being reasonable and is connected to the issue in question.
Mr. Roberts needs to know the meaning of chain of custody as the documentation of all the steps used in conducting an investigation. The documentation notes down all the process of collecting digital evidence to all the personnel involved in the process. Chain of custody answers the questions when, where, how, when and who about forensic investigation. It additionally accounts for how the digital information was collected, stored, processed, reviewed and analyzed. The chain of custody is purposed to guarantee integrity to the entire process. It additionally makes certain persons responsible for their actions during the investigation (Buckingham, 2015).
Buckingham, M. (2015, January 28). Perez on Workplace Privacy: Balancing Employees’ Rights with their Employer’s Right to Know. Retrieved from http://www.nemirowperez.com/perez-on-workplace-privacy-balancing-employees-rights-with-their-employers-right-to-know/
KPMG (2015). Achieving Digital Forensic Readiness. Retrieved from https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/pdf/2016/03/Achieving-Digital-Forensic-Readiness-12-9-2015.pdf
Sule, D. (2014). Importance of Forensic Readiness. ISACA Journal, vol. 1, pp. 1-5. Retrieved from https://www.isaca.org/Journal/archives/2014/Volume-1/Pages/JOnline-Importance-of-Forensic-Readiness.asp