Chain of custody (CoC), in legal contexts, refers to the chronological documentation or paper trail, showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of physical or electronic evidence.

Particularly important in criminal cases, the concept is also applied in civil litigation—and sometimes more broadly in drug testing of athletes, traceability of food products, and to provide assurances that wood products originate from sustainably managed forests.

The term is also sometimes used in the fields of history, art history, and archives as a synonym for provenance (meaning the chronology of the ownership, custody or location of a historical object, document or group of documents), which may be an important factor in determining authenticity.


Source: Wikipedia