Here’s Something Even More Unique Than DNA – Hash Values: eDiscovery Best Practices

Are you a true crime fan? If so, then you undoubtedly know how matching a suspect to their DNA profile is one of the most reliable forms of identifying suspects there is.  This recent article from Forensic Discovery discusses something even more unique than DNA – hash values – and how they can be useful to not only forensically authenticate electronic evidence, but also reduce the burden associated with eDiscovery significantly!

Their article Hash Values are the DNA of Digital Evidence discusses how (according to Wikipedia) when using Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) to construct a DNA profile, the theoretical risk of a coincidental DNA match is 1 in 100 billion (100,000,000,000).  That’s about 12 times the population of the earth!

But that’s nothing when compared to the uniqueness of Hash values to identify digital evidence.  Hash values are typically represented as a hexadecimal number and a 32-digit hexadecimal number like those generated by the MD5 Hash algorithm has 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 potential combinations.  Unique enough for you?  That would be like a lottery where there are 32 balls instead of five or six with numbers and letters as the possibilities for each!  I’m lucky to get a single number as is. 😉


So, what are the types of hash values typically used in discovery?  And how are they used in discovery?  If you don’t know, check out their article here to find that out – and more.  It’s vital information for eDiscovery professionals who want to understand best practices!

So, what do you think?  Did you realize just how unique hash values are?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclosure: Forensic Discovery is an Educational Partner and sponsor of eDiscovery Today

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.


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