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Old 25-08-2011, 21:13   #1 (permalink)
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Stolen Camera ?

Some good information to keep handy.

"Last year, while professional photographer John Heller was on assignment in Los Angeles for Getty Images, his camera and lenses worth over $9,000 were stolen. But thanks to Facebook, Flickr, and the tracking website GadgetTrak, the camera has been returned to Heller. After filing a police report and searching for a year, Heller used GadgetTrak as a last resort. It's a free search tool that scours the data embedded into photos posted on the Web -- including the serial number of the camera that took the pictures. Photos matching the serial number on Heller's camera were found on Flickr. They were then tracked to another photographer on Facebook, who purchased the goods online not knowing they were stolen. Heller is thankful to have his camera back, and police are looking for the thief."
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Old 26-08-2011, 10:14   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

I just tried entering my camera serial number and did a search but it came up with nothing. I am presuming that it only searches Facebook & Flickr, if so, that is reassuring because none of my images should be on those sites.

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Old 26-08-2011, 18:44   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

I just did the same with mine and it found nothing . I use Flickr all the time and facebook occasionally.
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Old 27-08-2011, 10:07   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

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I just did the same with mine and it found nothing . I use Flickr all the time and facebook occasionally.
I suspect that if you cannot find your images it is because you do not embed the EXIF data.

Using the save for web option in Photoshop strips the EXIF.
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Old 27-08-2011, 10:31   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

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Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
Using the save for web option in Photoshop strips the EXIF.
I think I have the option to include the exif when using 'Save for Web' in CS4
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Old 27-08-2011, 10:36   #6 (permalink)
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I think I have the option to include the exif when using 'Save for Web' in CS4
That's progress I'm a neolithic CS3 user.

You still need to use the include EXIF option though Unless you can set it as a default.
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Old 27-08-2011, 10:37   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

Unfortunately that is not the case. Out of similar curiosity, I checked this out with the photos that I have on Flickr. Yahoo display the EXIF data and everything is there including the serial number but the GadgetTrack scan did not pick up the photos. Like anything on the web I suspect that some information takes a fair amount of time to accumulate, and although the program claims a high number of articles found, it is possible that the scanner works primarily on USA servers.
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Old 27-08-2011, 10:44   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

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Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
You still need to use the include EXIF option though Unless you can set it as a default.
Yes there is a drop down 'metadata' box with the following options;

None
Copyright
Copyright and Contact Info
All Except Camera Info
All
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Old 27-08-2011, 13:22   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

I now suspect that it only works in the US. I have never Saved for Web so all my images have the EXIF data included.

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Old 27-08-2011, 14:10   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

Yep I leave all my Exif data intact

No real surprise that it wouldn't work in Britain we seem to have a culture of oh well just claim it on the insurance. A few years ago my car with all my tools inside was stolen by a gang who hitched it to a towtruck in front of loads of witnesses. I went to the police with the registration of the towtruck, their response. "Oh well it wont be registered to them so we wont bother" Not had much faith in them since then.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:56   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

I REMOVE any EXIF data on any of my shots now.
This was due to an incident in history, prior to me owning the Canon I have now, where a perfectly good shot attracted a troll on another site who started trying to "Trace" me with the camera serial number.........
Pathetic isnt it?...
(It also doesnt work, you CANT get info about who owns what camera from the shop that sold it... thats data protection...)
I got perfectly paranoid about that and got proper security conscious about personal details?...

Anyway, I ask, purely for info, is there a good way to "Watermark" the EXIF data, say, if I remove the data, can I fill in the blanks with perhaps something else to make it identifiable in some way?...
IS there a way to get into the camera's software to do this?....
If not, why not, and cant this be suggested to the camera's makers, to do a software upgrade, to put in something sensible such as a time sensitive "password" (Combination of button presses...using L/R/U/D on the navigation buttons for instance?..) that has to be reset once a week or so to prevent unauthorised use?....

Come on, we all have Laptops, and we have passwords on them, some of our Camera's would not just buy a laptop, but a full 3D capable editing suite with surround sound 40 inch LCD and multi-core processor, so why the lack of security?...

Someone tell me to stop if you think I am blethering away here, but my Camera equipment is worth more that this computer..... and yet NO security?...

Just wondering if the possible "Might" of Pixalo can be used for good ideas, and if this is a good idea?...

...Thoughts please...?
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:31   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Stolen Camera ?

Many smartphones now cost more that entry level dSLR's. I don't kmow of any phone where you can't set a password, yet I don't know anyone (other than me) who has a password set on their phone. If this technology was available on cameras, would anyone bother to use it?

As for passwords that have to be reset regularly - no, thanks. Before I retired I had access to several very high security systems that all required password resets every 28 days, and you could not use the same password again or use it on any other system. What a nightmare! There was no way that you could remember all of them.

I don't think that deleting a serial number from any item is a good idea. This number is the only constant from point of sale (proof of ownership), is used in repairs, and will be the first thing that the police will need in the event of theft. If it could be changed by the user will actually assist the thief. As soon as the original serial number is gone there is nothing to prove who owns it. Don't tell me that a camera's security could not be breached if they can hack the pentagon! You can customise the metadata with most cameras, but this can also be changed by anyone.

Anything that you own can be stolen or lost so maybe the best option is to ensure it is fully insured and just take care of it as best you can.
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