Advertisement

Comparing Sources of Location Data from Android Smartphones

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Mobile phone forensics Android phones location data 

References

  1. 1.
    J. Angwin and J. Valentino-Devries, Apple, Google collect user data, Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2011.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. Benford, Geotags: Friend or foe? Forensic Focus (www.forensicfocus.com/geotags-friend-or-foe).
  3. 3.
    J. Bryner, Facebook memory forensics (computer-forensics.sans.org/blog/2009/11/20/facebook-memory-forensics), 2009.
  4. 4.
    N. Carlson, Goldman to clients: Facebook has more than 600 million users, Business Insider, January 5, 2011.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Compelson Labs, MOBILedit! Forensic Overview, Eugene, Oregon (www.mobiledit.com/mef-overview.htm).
  6. 6.
    European Parliament and Council of the European Union, Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2002/58/EC, Official Journal of the European Union, vol. L(105), pp. 54–63, 2006.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    F. Freiling, S. Schmitt and M. Spreitzenbarth, Forensic analysis of smartphones: The Android Data Extractor Lite (ADEL), presented at the ADFSL Conference on Digital Forensics, Security and Law, 2011.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gartner, Gartner says sales of mobile devices in second quarter of 2011 grew 16.5 percent year-on-year; smartphone sales grew 74 percent, (www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1764714), August 11, 2011.
  9. 9.
    P. Gobry, Google+ hits 25 million users, is the fastest growing website ever, Business Insider, August 3, 2011.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Hoog, Android Forensics: Investigation, Analysis and Mobile Security for Google Android, Syngress, Waltham, Massachusetts, 2011.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    HTC, HTC Developer Center (www.htcdev.com/devcenter).
  12. 12.
    Micro Systemation, XRY Physical, Stockholm, Sweden (www.msab.com/xry/xry-physical).
  13. 13.
    J. Raphael, Apple vs. Android location tracking: Time for some truth (blogs.computerworld.com/18190/apple_android_location_tracking), April 25, 2011.
  14. 14.
    SQLite, The SQLite Database File Format, Charlotte, North Carolina (www.sqlite.org/fileformat2.html).
  15. 15.
    L. Whitfield, Flashpost: Google+ artifacts – URL forwarding (www.forensic4cast.com/2011/07/flashpost-google-plus-artefacts-url-forwarding), July 5, 2011.
  16. 16.
    K. Wong, A. Lai, J. Yeung, W. Lee and P. Chan, Facebook Forensics (www.fbiic.gov/public/2011/jul/Facebook_Forensics- Finalized.pdf), 2011.
  17. 17.
    ZEIT Online, Tell-all telephone (www.zeit.de/datenschutz/malte-spitz-data-retention), August 31, 2009.

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

Personalised recommendations