Any information transmitted or stored in a digital form that a witness may tender in course of witness action in a court case to prove any proposition is digital evidence.
Instances of digital evidence are files saved from accounting programs, internet browser histories, computer printouts, computer back ups, contents of computer memory, ATM transaction logs, e mails, digital photographs etc.
Many Courts have started using the Federal Rules of Evidence for digital evidence also like for traditional hard copy documents. However, in this connection Courts have also stressed on the difference between traditional hard copy documents and digital documents.
Courts have observed digital evidence is easily available, more voluminous and expressive and difficult to destroy but liable to manipulation in the absence of appropriate checks and balances. So Courts have insisted on proofs of adequate data security and data protection measures in place before admitting digital evidence as testimony. In this respect courts have treated digital evidence differently from conventional hard copy evidence.
In the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in December 2006 provisions were introduced for preservation and disclosure of electronically stored evidence.