Photo Stream helping user track down his stolen iPhone

Photo Stream - Apple TV

A stolen iPhone is helping its owner close the net on the thief thanks to Apple's iCloud Photo Stream. We assume that Find My iPhone was either not enabled, or was disabled by the thief, but it seems the thief was unaware that Photo Stream was running and cataloging every photograph

Katy McCaffrey had her iPhone stolen on a cruise ship last month. She had lost hope in recovering her smartphone, but then photos started showing up in her Photo Stream. The handy iCloud service automatically uploads photos taken on an iOS device to a feed that can be viewed on other authenticated devices.

Photo Stream started to reveal some interesting information about the person that had her iPhone. It turns out he is an employee of the Disney Cruise Line that she was on vacation with when the phone went missing. The man named Nelson took pictures of his pregnant girlfriend who also works aboard the same ship as well as drinking buddies and some nice sunset shots. Kate set up a Facebook Album and publicly displayed all the pictures from the stolen iPhone.

Kate has now informed Disney Cruise Line and sent them copies of the photographs; she hopes to get her iPhone returned and maybe some free passes to Disneyland too.

Source: Facebook via Cult of Mac

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Photo Stream helping user track down his stolen iPhone


I like the way you think!
Man, I understand good money can be made off a stolen iPhone, but with passwords, Photo Stream, Find My iPhone, jailbreak apps, aren't thieves just asking for trouble? I guess when a phone is stolen most people think it's just not worth the hassle?

and you forgot the new database to not allow reported stolen phones to be used again across carriers. (finally)
but who said thieves were smart...

I agree. How is a blog article and a public Facebook going to get her phone back? She should have just reported the EXIF data to the police.

Now you're a bit extreme.
We have rapists who should get the punishment you suggested and they get away with a slap on a hand , yet you hope for such advanced procedure performed , over an iPhone theft ( which most likely wasn't an actual theft but the woman probably got to drunk and lost it ) ;)

the article really should stress how important it is to actually enable any tracking services are apps that are available to you. instant upload of photos is probably the worst option to use. this lady just got lucky.

On that ship, lost and found is most likely empty. The crew has it all. Back ground checks Disney? Guess not.

Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I prvdoie credit and sources back to your blog?My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my users would really benefit from some of the information you prvdoie here.Please let me know if this ok with you. Cheers!

Actually, some of the articles say that she did find it with Find my Phone, but the phone was...on the boat :)
The thing is, the pics ID the thief, now she knows who, not just where, and that's gonna cost the guy his job...sucker.

It's interesting to me that everyone automatically assumes that the person is a thief. This reminds me of the time that someone working with Gizmodo got a hold of an iPhone. Everyone assumed the person was a thief as opposed to someone who found the iPhone. Some people didn't even make a distinction between the two. I think it's a worthwhile distinction.

It would be safe to assume by not reporting the phone found and out using it for personal pics, his intentions were quite clear.

If he's not a thief, he wouldn't have taken pics; he'd have turned it in. If he's a thief, he's acting like it's his.

A thief actually plans and steals.
This guy isn't a thief, just a firm believer of the " finders keepers " unwritten law :lol: :twisted:

You could use the gps data but you'll need a boat to get close enough. And they may think your a pirate trying to board their ship.

The beatings cotnniue I'm getting the actual book I can't see this being a digital download for me. I like what you guys are doing with your YT channel! They're like mini adventures that I can join in on, without leaving my bunker Keep it up!