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19th Dec 2016

This mans genius response to having his phone stolen has inspired a short documentary


When Anthony van der Meer’s phone got stolen, he decided it was the perfect time to conduct a social experiment of sorts.

Van der Meer purchased a new smartphone and intentionally infected it with spyware, before allowing it to be stolen — and giving him access to the activities, movements, photos and videos of the culprit.

Anthony then converted the files and footage into a 20-minute documentary, called Find My Phone, which he posted to YouTube.

In the description he writes:

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?”

Watch the documentary below: