Science & technology
Lookout App Uses Device Camera to Take ‘Thieftie’ of Whoever Steals Your Phone
Publish Date: Jun 02, 2014
Lookout App Uses Device Camera to Take ‘Thieftie’ of Whoever Steals Your Phone
  • mail
  • img
newvision

If you’ve ever had your phone stolen, there’s probably nothing you wanted more than to punch the thief right in the nose — if only you knew what that nose looked like. Lookout Mobile Security’s app, available for Android and iOS, can now provide you a picture of just that, along with the face to which it’s attached, automatically, via its Theft Alerts functionality.

Theft Alerts is a simple idea that could be useful: If Lookout detects suspicious behavior on your smartphone, it will automatically use the device’s front-facing camera to snap a picture of the supposed perpetrator and email it to you, along with his location.

Lookout is not the first program to do this; other apps such as Lockwatch automatically take photos when a phone’s security settings are tampered with, and other mobile-security apps let you manually take remote photos with your phone and try to track down thieves. However, Theft Alerts does represent the first time automatic photo functionality has been integrated into a comprehensive mobile-security suite rather than used as a standalone program.

With Theft Alerts activated, Lookout will monitor your phone for suspicious behavior. If someone removes your SIM card, turns on Airplane Mode, enters your passcode incorrectly, turns off your phone or attempts to remove Lookout, the camera will activate and you’ll receive an email with a photograph and location of the supposed malefactor.

All five Theft Alert triggers apply to the Android app; because of Apple’s restrictions, only the first two work on iOS. If you do any of these actions yourself frequently, you can change Lookout’s settings to ignore them.

While the program sounds like a great idea, its practical value is most likely very limited. Having a photograph and a rough location of a phone thief will not do the average person much good. A phone’s GPS can only pinpoint a general area (like a street corner), not an exact house or a location in an apartment building. Even on the off chance that the thief takes a perfect selfie (or “theftie,” as Lookout calls it), identifying strangers with a single screenshot is not easy, especially in crowded areas where a thief could be constantly on the move.

Still, if you’re often in situations where your phone could get stolen and want some peace of mind, even in the form of a placebo, Theft Alerts is bundled into Lookout Mobile Security Premium, which costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. It may not help you retrieve your phone, but at least you’ll have a person’s face to associate with your ire.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Google apologizes photo app tagged black couple
Google apologized after an identification program in its new photo app put a "gorillas" label on a picture of a black couple....
Blind French hikers cross mountains with special GPS
Five hikers, all blind or partially-sighted, crossed a mountain range in eastern France last week thanks to an innovative GPS system that developers hope can help millions of people with vision problems....
S. Korea court rules in favour of Samsung subsidiaries merger
A South Korean court on Wednesday ruled in favour of a proposed merger of two Samsung Group subsidiaries, rejecting a US hedge fund's motion to stop the eight-billion-dollar acquisition....
Facebook
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg figures there could be a formula that explains how people think....
Apple Music goes live as tech giant bids on streaming
Apple's new streaming service went live Tuesday with a flashy radio station and artist exclusives, as the company that dominated digital music through iTunes looks to the future....
Google gets extended deadline to answer EU case
Brussels has given Google an extension until mid-August to answer an anti-trust case alleging that the tech giant abuses its search engine''s market dominance, a company spokesman said Monday....
Do you think Ugandan graduates are the worst in the region?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter