There are different tools online that you can use to try to find missing devices of yours ranging from Android Device Manager (which I wrote about here), Samsung’s Find My Mobile and so on, but it is also possible for you to trace a stolen digital camera using a photo taken with it.
I got to know about this website that I want to talk about today on BBC Click, which I made reference to in my post on Apple’s SmartWatch as one of the technology shows I really enjoy watching. The website is www.stolencamerafinder.com.
The site won’t help you with your mobile phone or tablet for now, but if you have a digital camera that is on their list of supported cameras (check out their list of supported cameras here) or you plan on getting one any time soon, then this is for you.
If by any chance, anybody steals your camera, then they had better not take photos with it or not upload any of the photos to the internet because the site can help you trace the thief.
So, How Does It Work?
You would need to upload any of the photos that you have taken with your camera before and that you have stored somewhere. Once you do that, some meta-data (called EXIF data) hidden in the photo would be extracted. The meta-data amongst other things would contain the name of the camera, the model of the camera and most importantly the serial number of the camera. The site crawls the internet and indexes images with the serial number of the camera stored in the EXIF data of that image. So, when you upload your own photo and it extracts the EXIF data in your own photo, it reads the serial number of the camera that was used to take the photo and then searches through its index for the serial number to see any other photo whose camera serial number matches your own. It would then display the photos and where they were found for you to start your tracing with law enforcement agents of course.