michaelsotoHere is a story that had me giggling for quite some time. A man left his “$400 Kindle” in his car and it got stolen. But the thief was dumb enough to use the on-board camera to take some selfies with it, including this shot with his innocent mom. As reported by the local CBS station in Los Angeles:

“McDonald’s sorrow turned to surprise when a few days later he says selfies popped up on his television screen after being uploaded from his Kindle to the Cloud online data storage network…LAPD detectives say tracking technology has helped them solve more than a dozen cases similar to this in the past year.”

It wasn’t clear from the article which particular model this man had. But I have at least four devices I use for reading, and I think all of them have a camera. Its heartening to think that this little add-on might help me get my device back if something happened to it.

One thing I did do was download a free app on my iPhone which lets me add text to a photo background and set it as my lock screen. I outfitted my chosen image with the Beloved’s name and phone number; if I lose any of my devices, someone can access this information without even needing to unlock the device itself. This way, my personal information stays protected (you need a passcode to unlock my iPad and phone), but I can still have an emergency contact listed.

Of course, this will not deter an actual thief; but, as the story points out, there is more than one way to achieve that aim. In this case, the Kindle itself tattled on the burglar!

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. I’ve read similar stories about someone who recovered their iPad through an Apple service where you can log in to remote into the device and get its position via GPS, images from the camera, anything you want, without the thief realizing. (And I know it’s true because a friend of mine availed himself of the same functionality. Sadly it led him to a very bad neighborhood and he had to turn tail before getting in trouble.)

    And you know what my first thought was? You do realize that means Apple can track you 24/7 while the device is in *your* possession in the first place? And if Apple can do it, then the government can do it? Is all your privacy — all of it! — really worth maybe recovering a lost or stolen object once in a blue moon?

    Now, I don’t know whether Kindles also have GPS and/or remoting capability, but I still shudder to think who else might have access to those photos while they fly through the clouds. Like the manufacturer of a smart TV, for example. And that’s just scary.

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