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Synchronization refers to

the process of resolving differences in certain classes of information, such as e-mail, residing on two devices (i.e., a PDA and PC), such that both retain most current versions, which reflect any actions taken by the user (e.g., deletions) on one device or the other.[1]


Synchronization is

[a]ny technique by which a receiving (decrypting) cryptographic process attains an internal state that matches the transmitting (encrypting) process, i.e., has the appropriate keying material to process the cipher text and is correctly initialized to do so.[2]


Synchronization is

the process of combining sound recordings of musical compositions with visual images.[3]

Overview (Data)[]

Synchronization of data may occur at either the record level or the file level. When done at the file level, any discrepancies from the last synchronization date and time result in the latest version automatically replacing the older version. Occasionally manual intervention may be needed if both versions were modified independently since the last synchronization occurred. Record level synchronization is done similarly, but with more granularity whereby only out-of-date parts of a file are resolved and replaced.

Digital devices are typically populated with data from the PC during the synchronization process. Data from the PDA can also be synchronized to the PC, through user-defined preferences in the synchronization software. The synchronization software and the device type determine where PDA files may be stored on the PC. Each synchronization protocol has a default installation directory, but the locale can be user specified.


  1. NIST, Guidelines on PDA Forensics, at 42 (NIST Special Publication 800-72) (Nov. 2004) (full-text).
  2. Internet Security Glossary, at 296.
  3. Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Still N The Water Publishing, 327 F.3d 472, 481 n.8 (6th Cir. 2003) (full-text).