Did you know that 92 percent of online users reported sending or receiving emoji in 2015?
Emojis are not only becoming more important for social media and marketing purposes, but they are also appearing more and more in legal cases.
Indeed, non-verbal communication can be crucial in criminal trials as an indication of culpable intent (‘mens rea’), and emojis have already been appearing in many criminal cases. Legal professionals expect that emojis will likely start showing up in civil cases, too.
The question of how to deal with emojis in legal matters remains. Emojis have no set definitions, and meaning can vary from user to user. As a result, interpreting these symbols is nuanced to say the least.
Another difficulty is how to present emojis (for instance, to jurors in court), and emojis cannot be identified through keyword searches.
Here is where Boxer Analytics comes in.
Changing the Face of Investigations
Joe Sremack founded his startup, Boxer Analytics, in June 2016 to design specialized analytics software and services for simplifying analysis of emojis and complex unicode data. As data continues to explode, so will the need for analysis.
Sremack first experienced big data for himself while working as a consultant on a massive case consisting of more than 100 mobile devices and more than 100,000 messages on each phone, spread out over different platforms (SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, etc.). He began to think about how to efficiently analyze all the data cohesively, while also accounting for the non-verbal communication, a great business idea was born.
A computer scientist and an expert in data investigations, Sremack started developing a consulting service with an intuitive web-based interface, UniSearch Pro.
UniSearch Pro is an application that looks at an existing database and tells you which character sets are in your data.UniSearch Pro can either work independently (as a cloud application) or alongside an existing review application (as a software that can be installed behind an existing firewall).
The latter is particularly useful for law enforcement agencies and attorneys, who — for security reasons — do not want too many tools when they are investigating a case.
Boxer Analytics focuses primarily on the legal market because that’s where the biggest need is. Courts are expected to give their judgments within certain amounts of time, which is difficult when facing huge backlogs.
Nowadays, law enforcement agencies and attorneys have to identify emojis manually. Of course, this takes a lot of time because as said they are already drowning in data.
UniSearch Pro reduces the workload by first identifying emojis in the data so that attorneys can start searching for emojis by keywords or concept-based groups of emojis along with the keyword text. The emoji can be replaced with text and the data can be exported as relevant documents for trial, which simplifies the e-discovery process.
Boxer Analytics is still in its early days and is working on validating its product and building trust for its software. In addition, the startup is fostering strong partnerships, both with private law firms and law enforcement agencies.
Boxer Analytics has also faced some regulatory hurdles, such as the CJIS standards at the federal level. The FBI has quite some stringent security requirements for computer forensics. However, Sremack admits that these hurdles in the United States seem minor when compared to Europe. While Boxer Analytics is focusing on the United States market first, expanding to Europe is on its long-term agenda.
Emojis matter, and as the world of big data continues to expand, Boxer Analytics has a role in preserving data and enabling speedy analysis.
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