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A Comparison of Geo-tagging in Mobile Internet Browsing Applications on iOS and Android.

Comer, Samantha; Leimich, Petra


Samantha Comer


Nowadays there is almost no crime committed without a trace of digital evidence,
and since the advanced functionality of mobile devices today can be exploited to
assist in crime, the need for mobile forensics is imperative. Many of the mobile
applications available today, including internet browsers, will request the user’s
permission to access their current location when in use. This geolocation data is
subsequently stored and managed by that application's underlying database files. If
recovered from a device during a forensic investigation, such GPS evidence and
track points could hold major evidentiary value for a case.
The aim of this paper is to examine and compare to what extent geolocation data is
available from the iOS and Android operating systems. We focus particularly on
geolocation data recovered from internet browsing applications, comparing the
native Safari and Browser apps with Google Chrome, downloaded on to both
platforms. All browsers were used over a period of several days at various
locations to generate comparable test data for analysis. Results show considerable
differences not only in the storage locations and formats, but also in the amount of
geolocation data stored by different browsers and on different operating systems.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name CFET 2014: 7th International Conference on Cybercrime Forensics Education & Training
Start Date Jul 10, 2014
End Date Jul 11, 2014
Acceptance Date May 8, 2014
Publication Date Jul 10, 2014
Deposit Date Jun 8, 2016
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
ISBN 97801909067158
Keywords Geolocation data; GPS; Android forensics; iOS forensics;
Public URL