Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finding owner of data

On a recent walk along a Californian beach I found a compact camera, covered in sand and salt water.  The camera was very dead, but out of interest I eventally managed to extract the 2GB SD memory card.   After drying it out, it was readable with errors.  When totally dry, it read without errors.

I was keen to try and contact the owner and return the photos, over 500 of them.  Unfortunately, there is very little on a memory chip to tell you about an owner, only the camera, and date and time of the photos.  From this I could determine that the last photo had been taken about 10 days before I found the camera.  I did try and add a 'Found camera' to a local lost and found website, but no reply.

Recently, I did a bit more investigation by looking at the photos more closely.  Obviously the owner was a young person, with lots of photos in night clubs, no names identifiable, but also some at a college.  One photo though I do hope will be a major clue is that it includes, possibly the owner, or close friend holding a college certificate with their unusal surname name on it.  A bit of Googling took me to Facebook, and I hope a perfect match. (The name and college course both match, and the photo looks similar).  I have now sent a message to the person, and am waiting for a reply.

The moral of the story is that if you want goods returned, it can be helpful to have some return details stored with it.

As a post script, the owner did contact me and a DVD of photos was sent.  I have just received a very nice letter of thanks.