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iPhone thieves photographed by iGotYa-style app

While Apple itself is not sure about apps that run outside of the Jobs-o-sphere, companies like iGotYa were doing such good trade outside the OSX law, that their software seems to be getting installed more and more. What does it do? Simple. It photographs people that attempt to use your iPhone without authorisation. KitGuru dons a balaclava.

Many of us have experienced that horrible moment when £500 worth of phone – together with important photos, contact details and other information goes missing in a public place.

You scan the faces around you, as if the thief will be wearing a face mask and carrying a bag marked ‘swag’.

But it’s never that easy.

Or, at least, it wasn’t in the old world.

Apps like iGotYa sit on your phone, just waiting for an illegal access (most likely from a thief who’s trying to bypass your security). When it detects illicit behaviour, it takes photos, makes a note of where it is located and sends the whole lot off to help track the crooks down.

There are 100% Apple-approved apps which tell you where your phone is, but if some bastard stole it – wouldn’t you rather have a photo as well?  That’s what Cyndia believed when they created iGotYa.

Now we need to tell you that just because your phone was stolen and then someone tried to use it, that doesn’t mean that the person who was photographed was the one who committed the crime. They will almost certainly have met the crook, but they might not know that the phone they’ve been handed is, actually, hot.

You can see more about the kind of protection software that’s out there from this video.

The chap on the left, in the following photo, was snapped trying to access a stolen phone last October. The woman was snapped earlier this week. Amazing just how much better these phone cameras have become in just one year.

Just because a phone gets nicked and then someone tries to use it, has their photograph taken and sent off - doesn't mean they are thieves. Even if the lady likes Coalition nightclub in Brighton, has wonky teeth and drives a car with a sunroof.

KitGuru says: There was a rumour going around in the 1990s, that the mobile phone companies could easily embed password software that would make the phone completely unusable – thereby reducing the risk of theft. But, the rumour goes, it would have impacted on mobile phone sales (replacement handsets) so a decision to prevent nicked phones becoming unusable was made. True or not, it does seem that if Apple & Co wanted to protect your device they could render it ‘lethal to thieves’. If the young lady in the photo wants to come forward and clear her name, we would be happy to print her side of the story.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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