Ever wondered what happens to your phone when it gets stolen? One film student was curious about the same thing when he lost his phone in Amsterdam, so he turned this sorry incident into a short filmed aptly titled “Find My Phone.”
Van der Meer lost his phone, but upon reporting to local police, he found little help. It was then Van der Meer decided to take matters into his own hands. He and his friends discovered the anti-theft app Cerberus. To find out what happens to a phone when it gets stolen, they installed this on another Android phone and left it on a metro station.
“Initially it’s about what happens to a stolen phone. It is a portrait of someone who steals a phone. But it will also be aware of what you actually all share a phone. I could so much information about him figure out just because he has a phone in his pocket that he uses occasionally. What if that happens to me now? How much you share with such a device, without knowing that? “
The software lets the user access location, messages, pictures, videos, etc. remotely. It even allows the device to manage content and control the microphone and camera whenever the phone was turned on and connected to WiFi. Using this, Van der Meer listened to the thief’s calls, took snaps and even read his messages.
And what was just a project out of curiosity turned into a film showing the journey of the stolen phone and also pointing to the fact that how much personal information we share on our mobiles.
“When I was looking for a way to spy on a stolen phone, I also investigated the illegal ways. Before that, I did research on the deep web, the part of the Internet that is not searchable by search engines like Google, and therefore invisible to the majority of web users. There is a whole market of phone viruses that do exactly what I show in the film. That would not tell you, but when you see the confrontational”.
Van der Meer truly invaded the thief’s life: from reading his messages, listening to his calls and eavesdropping on his romantic relationships
“I went to sleep with it. I got more and more the feeling that I knew this man because I could look directly into his life via his phone. In that feeling is concerned, espionage tricky. Can arise that you have much control over someone besides, you feel a constant tension. Would he have had it by also affect me?”