Comparing Sources of Location Data from Android Smartphones

  • Michael Spreitzenbarth
  • Sven Schmitt
  • Felix Freiling
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 383)


It is well-known that, for various reasons, smartphone operating systems persistently store location data in local storage. Less well-known is the fact that various network applications (apps) do this too. This paper considers the issue if location data extracted from mobile phones can replace or complement the location data obtained from network operators. Experiments with Android smartphones reveal that location data stored on the phones is often much more precise than the rather coarse-grained data stored by network operators. However, the availability of location data on smartphones varies considerably compared with the data stored by network operators.


Mobile phone forensics Android phones location data 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Spreitzenbarth
    • 1
  • Sven Schmitt
    • 1
  • Felix Freiling
    • 1
  1. 1.Friedrich Alexander UniversityErlangen-NurembergGermany

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