Film student Anthony van der Meer had his iPhone stolen and the thought that a stranger had access to all of his personal data really concerned him. What kind of person would steal a phone? Where do these phones end up? These were his biggest questions. To get answers, Anthony had another phone stolen from him on purpose, but this time he followed the thief using a hidden app and made a captivating documentary film about the whole process.
“Find my Phone” was possible because of a spyware app called Cerberus. Using it, van der Meer was able to remotely track and control his phone whenever it was turned on and connected to the internet. Anthony listened to the thief’s calls, read his messages, took photos, and even recorded both audio and video. The filmmaker then compressed everything into a thrilling 21 minute documentary movie which highlights how easy it is to spy on someone in the digital age. The video has already been viewed by more than 1.7 millions of people.
Latest update shows that his phone resurfaced in Romania.
After my phone got stolen, I quickly realized just how much of my personal information and data the thief had instantly obtained. So, I let another phone get stolen. This time my phone was pre-programmed with spyware so I could keep tabs on the thief in order to get to know him. However, to what extent is it possible to truly get to know someone by going through the content of their phone?
In the Netherlands, 300 police reports a week are filed for smartphone-theft. Besides losing your expensive device, a stranger has access to all of your photos, videos, e-mails, messages and contacts.
Yet, what kind of person steals a phone? And where do stolen phones eventually end up?
The short documentary ‘Find My Phone’ follows a stolen phone’s second life by means of using spyware.
Although you’ll meet the person behind the theft up close and personal, the question remains: how well can you actually get to know someone when you base yourself on the information retrieved from their phone?