Track Phone Using EXIF data

First of all, what is EXIF? EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File Format. It is basically a standard set for digital images that covers the format for pictures, sounds and also other file images that is recorded by digital cameras. This digital cameras also covers the camera in your smartphones. So, how can you use it to track phone using EXIF data? The metadata tags in the EXIF standards such as JPEG, TIFF, RIFF WAV contains data such as the date and time information for the pictures or audio that was taken or recorded. It also contains the camera settings, copyright information as well as the thumbnail for the preview pictures. And the most important metadata tag for tracking your phone using EXIF data is the EXIF tag format for location information.

This is due to the fact that many smartphones have a built-in GPS receiver. The GPS data can be a time stamp into your digital photo and therefore the pictures taken will show the exact GPS coordinate of the pictures. This is called Geo-tagging process. There are several apps in the market that utilizes this EXIF data in the picture to know exactly where are the pictures you have shared are taken. So again, how all of this relates to using it to track your phone? Well, just imagine a scenario in which you just gotten your phone lost or stolen. Most smartphones nowadays comes together with cloud applications that stores your image to a cloud server in which you can access from anywhere in the world. iPhones for instance comes with the iCloud services in which any pictures or audio taken can be shared within all Apple’s platform devices. There are also application such as Dropbox where you can synchronized your pictures taken into your account and that can be accessed by you anywhere and any computers in the world. So, if you got your phone stolen, you can check the pictures or audio that have been uploaded automatically after the date that you have lost the phone. The pictures will contain the EXIF data in which you can extract from free photo viewer software such as Google’s Picasa or Windows Live Photo Gallery. This data also contains the geo-tagging data that will show you where the exact coordinates are the pictures was taken and you can use that data to track your phone. Even though the data is not that accurate but at least it can give you a lead on the whereabouts of your lost phone.