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Is Your iPhone Leaving Digital Footprints?

Remember the big uprising against Apple and Google when it was determined that their smartphones tracked every single step that you made?  A number of privacy measures were quickly put into place, giving users the ability to prohibit the tracking, but these tools are actually being used by law enforcement as a way to track down crooks.  If you’ve ever watched an episode of Law & Order, you’ll know exactly what we are talking about.

Understanding your digital footprint

Have you ever been prompted by your iPhone for permission to use your location?  Did you say “yes”?  Then we can track you.

Even if you didn’t, there’s a good way to determine the latitude and longitude of your location from your phone:

  • Download a tool called ExifTool here, and you will have to extract it afterwards.
  • From there, run the program from your command prompt.
  • What you’re looking for is a log, so enter the command exiftool –csv sourcedirectory > outputdirectory/logname.csv.
  • This is the information that you’ll need to create a directory of the information that you need.

What you are looking for from this directory is longitude and latitude information, which you can then enter into Google Earth.  At that point you will get all of the tracking information that you need.  When you put pins on Google Earth from place to place, what you have is a way for your every movement to be monitored.

Turning off location services doesn’t do the trick

It is important to note that while some people turn their location services off on their cell phone, the phone still tracks the geo location data.  Granted it is unavailable to the public, but if a law enforcement agent were to get their hands on it, they could track the signal.  Essentially, what your smartphone does is follow you around and leave your digital footprints everywhere.

Yes the police can use this data

Law enforcement has the authority to collect this information in the United States, but the laws do vary from country to country.  This type of tracking tool is already being used to help nail down the whereabouts of criminals nationwide and internationally as well.

As criminals become more tech-savvy, so does law enforcement. Incident response and digital forensics like those provided by Prudential Associates are proving to be a critical element in the race to track thieves or even missing children, especially when every single second is so important.

Call today to find out how our cutting edge investigative services can assist your company or personal investigation anywhere throughout metro Washington DC, Maryland or even Virginia.  Or you can learn more about the area of cell phone forensics by clicking here.