Steve Chan, a SIMS graduate student at UC Berkeley, was in Thailand over the winter break and lost his Nokia 7610... his wife left it behind in a cab. This phone is part of a group of phones that are part of a photo metadata project organized by Marc Davis and Nancy Van House at SIMS. Software was installed in all the 7610's, called MMM-2. It organizes metadata for photos taken with the phone around the content and implied context of the photo, and the social community around the photos, either with respect to the bluetooth devices nearby or for sharing photos.
The phone has been in use by some other party, taking these two photos... the first uploaded in January, and the second two weeks ago. The MMM software uploads photos automatically, unbeknownst to the current user of the phone. Steve has tried to call the phone several times, the calls go unanswered or are hung up on, and he doesn't have much information about who has the phone, except from these two pictures and the metadata MSS collects around them. And since the user of the phone 'found it' I'm thinking about what are the ethics around posting these photos. One thing I'm thinking about is that the first photo appears to be a child, though may be a small woman and involving her causes me to question posting it, even though I was given permission to do so by people running the metadata program, and Steve emailed a bit more information, implying his permission as well. Of course, I want to help Steve, and think about this problem, but what about this? What does it mean to post a photo of a young child in order to ask for information? On the other hand, the child's photo may be more closely tied to the current user of the phone than the second, with the two adults.
So, do you know these people .. which might give some clue about who has this phone? If so, leave a comment or email Steve.
Posted by Mary Hodder at March 21, 2005 07:26 AM | TrackBack