Excellence – Integrity – Objectivity
The Digital Forensics Certification Board (“DFCB”) exists to promote public trust and confidence in the digital forensics profession. In keeping with this goal, certificants must adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct and behavior. Consequently, the DFCB has established the DFCB Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct in order to more fully set forth the conduct and behavior required for all DFCB certificants.
Certificants pledge themselves to work with integrity and professionalism. Certificants have a professional obligation to their clients and to each other that includes, without limitation, subordination of self-interest to the interest of others.
Certificants shall follow these standards and strive always to demonstrate integrity, objectivity, competence, and confidentiality.
In order to comply with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, every certificant of the DFCB shall:
- Refrain from exercising professional or personal conduct adverse to the reputation, integrity, or image of the digital forensic profession, or otherwise to the best interests and purposes of the DFCB;
- Report to the Board any violation by one’s self or another certificant of the DFCB Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct;
- Refrain from issuing public statements that appear to represent the position of the DFCB without specific authority first obtained from the Board of Directors;
- Acknowledge and agree to the provision of certification that any violation of the Code of Ethics and/or Standards of Professional Conduct, as determined by the DFCB in their sole discretion, shall be subject to disciplinary action including, without limitation, suspension or revocation of certification.
A Certificant of the DFCB shall:
- Not engage in, or pressure others to engage in, any conduct that is harmful to the profession of digital forensics including, but not limited to, any illegal or unethical activity, any technical misrepresentation or distortion, any scholarly falsification or any material misrepresentation of education, training, credentials, experience, or area of expertise;
- Demonstrate, at all times, commitment, integrity, and professional diligence;
- Avoid any action that could appear to be a conflict of interest;
- Comply with all lawful orders of courts of competent jurisdiction;
- Show no bias with respect to findings or opinions;
- Express no opinion with respect to the guilt or innocence of any party;
- Not disclose or reveal any confidential or privileged information obtained during an engagement without proper authorization or otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction;
- Examine and consider thoroughly all information (unless specifically limited in scope by court order or other authority) and render opinions and conclusions strictly in accordance with the results and findings obtained using validated and appropriate procedures;
- Report or testify truthfully in all matters and not knowingly make any material misrepresentation of information or otherwise withhold any information that, in so doing, might tend to distort the truth;
- Accept only engagements for which there is a reasonable expectation of completion with professional competence.
Standards of Professional Conduct:
Integrity and Objectivity
- Certificant shall treat all items and information of potential evidentiary value with the care and the control necessary to ensure their integrity.
- Prior to accepting any engagement, certificant shall research potential conflicts of interest and shall disclose any potential conflicts of interest to prospective clients, attorneys or to their employer. Any research of potential conflicts shall include, as a minimum and without limitation, the names of the client(s), attorneys, and litigants.
- Certificant shall maintain objectivity and independence in fulfilling their professional responsibilities and shall make full, complete and truthful disclosure of the findings to the court, board, submitting agency or client. Certificant shall make no inaccurate or incomplete statements of qualification either during sworn testimony, on CVs, or to their clients or client’s counsel. Certificant shall always conduct his or her self in a manner that maintains or enhances the reputation of the profession.
- Certificant shall comply with all laws and/or any lawful order of the courts or other controlling authority, to include, without limitation, any applicable federal, national, state, provincial, or local court decisions, statutes or regulation. Prior to accepting any engagement, certificant shall research in good faith applicable local laws and/or requirements to ensure compliance.
Professional Care and Competence
- Certificant shall be competent and shall not accept engagements for which such competence is lacking. In order to fulfill this obligation, Certificant should have sufficient understanding of the nature of the issue or dispute to the extent necessary to understand the professional requirements of the engagement including the scope of the anticipated work, any limitations thereto, and the responsibilities of all parties. If the scope, limitations, or responsibilities of the parties change materially, certificant shall communicate promptly with the client or employer to reach a new understanding. It may be possible, in some circumstances, to satisfy the requirement of professional competency by means of consultation or referral.
- Certificant shall utilize validated and appropriate methods, techniques, standards, and controls to conduct examinations and analyses such that they could be reproduced by another qualified and competent person.
- Certificant shall carry out their duties in a professional manner and strive to be worthy of the confidence of the public.
- Certificant shall regard and respect their peers with the same standards that they hold for themselves.
- Certificant shall continually strive to increase and improve their skills and knowledge and to maintain currency with advances and standards in their profession. Certificant shall complete the minimum requirements for continuing professional education and/or practice experience as required by the DFCB.
- Certificant shall ensure that any work performed by assistants shall be adequately supervised and reviewed.
- Conclusions and opinions shall be supported by data and information that is relevant, complete, and sufficient.
- Without proper authorization or otherwise as ordered by a court or proper controlling authority, certificant (and those working under the direction of certification) shall not disclose confidential or privileged information obtained during the course of an engagement, except as required to report or testify truthfully and fully. If a certificant becomes aware of an effort to compel or becomes legally compelled to disclose confidential or privileged information, certificant shall promptly give notice to the client or client’s counsel. With respect to review by professional boards, state licensing boards, regulatory bodies or other similar bodies, such review shall not be precluded by this provision provided the reviewing organization agrees to abide by these confidentiality restrictions and provided the terms of the engagement do not prohibit such review.