Sleuthy NYC Couple Use Deckard Technique to Find Aussie Lost-Camera Owner

Illustration for article titled Sleuthy NYC Couple Use Deckard Technique to Find Aussie Lost-Camera Owner

It was like a real-life scene from Blade Runner, well, except for the pleasure-model skin jobs, the handguns that sound like laser blasters and the whole Harrison Ford thing. An NYC couple stumbles upon a digital camera left in a cab on New Year's Eve, and decide to turn all sleuthy.

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They pore over the 300 photos and videos in the memory card—which probably wasn't exactly legal—landing upon a shot of a bunch of people drunk in a bar, wearing nametags. Though the names themselves seemed to lead nowhere, a couple clicks up and to the right, a little zoom and voila! Our heroes could see the bar's name, written on an awning.

Popping over there, they shook down the bartender for information. The barman remembered a party and a particular "big tipper" who, fortunately for the couple, worked at another bar. They met up with her, and it turned out that her sister was amigos with the Australian who lost the camera. (What kind of amigo, I guess we'll never know.) After a few e-mails, the camera is making its way back to the bloke in Australia, who is happy to "know there are some honest people left in the world." [SMH]

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Sure, it's a cute story, but the question is this:

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DISCUSSION

If people cared about photo privacy, we wouldn't have Flickr.

When I was a kid I found an Instamatic camera under a car in Acapulco. I finished shooting the film and had it processed when I got home to the States. There were shots of some tough looking hombres standing around a big shipping crate. The photographer made a point of showing the shipping address in Brazil. If this had been a digital camera, I could have had some serious adventure tracking down the cameras owner, perhaps before the aforementioned hombres did. Lucky me it was a film camera, and I couldn't see the pictures until I got home.