Crime-fighting cell-phone cameras
Here's a new twist on high-tech crime. When Web designer Ben Clemens' phone was stolen, he cancelled the service and thought that was the end of it. But software that he'd installed on the phone kept uploading photos taken by a stranger -- presumably the thief, or someone else who'd obtained the phone after it was stolen -- to Clemens' Flickr account. At first, Clemens thought about disabling the uploading software, but concluded that the photos were so cool that he'd let the uploading continue -- which it did for a while until it abruptly stopped. On Digg, posters went into full-on CSI mode, using clues from the photos to help discern where the phone might be located.

While Clemens seems to enjoy the serendipity of the incident, this strikes the Browser as a startup business plan waiting to happen: software that automatically starts taking pictures as soon as you report that your camera's been stolen. In Manteca, Calif., cameraphones are already being used to fight vandalism, but using cell phones to prevent cell-phone theft seems like a more logical move.
Posted by Owen Thomas 11:58 AM 1 Comments comment | Add a Comment

It would also be a big help in cases where people are victims of major crimes and have cell phones on them or the suspect takes the phone. There have been multiple cases of this in NYC this year.
Posted By Bob, NY, NY : 11:22 AM  

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