A Change-org petition is calling on 17 camera and lens manufacturers to build anti-theft security features into camera gear, noting that photographers are particularly vulnerable to having their extremely portable, high value equipment stolen.
‘The secret is out: camera gear is the perfect thing to steal. It is of high value, holds its resale value, and is compact and easy to conceal,’ petitioner Louis Chan (aka ‘The Photographic Community’) wrote. ‘We cannot change this. More importantly, however, camera gear can’t currently be tracked or remotely disabled. Anyone can turn it on and operate it. We CAN change this.’
There’s a back-story to Louis Chan’s initiative. In September this year the San Fransiscan photographer was followed home after a photo shoot and robbed at gunpoint in his driveway. The ordeal was captured by security cameras:
The petition has so far garnered a modest 3200 signatures, with a closing date of November 19. (The YouTube video has been viewed by 90,000!)
The petition notes that rampant theft of vehicles and smartphones led to manufacturers responding with better theft protection measures: ‘Manufacturers realized better-protected phones meant more sales, and they introduced biometrics and remote disabling. Phone thefts dropped.’
The petition notes that, in the US at least, simply exercising care won’t necessarily protect photographers: ‘It is no longer an issue of “don’t leave your valuables in your car”. Photographers are getting pepper-sprayed, held up at gunpoint, tackled to the ground, followed for an hour to their homes, and even shot at — unprovoked, in broad daylight, in official newscaster and film sets. We CAN change this.’
Among the suggestions for beefing up camera security are:
– Passcodes to operate all cameras. ‘Ideally, this could also be pushed to existing cameras via firmware update’;
– Lens pairing to the camera;
– Opt-in GPS tracking/internet connectivity similar to Find My iPhone, for example;
– Biometrics. Fingerprint scanner, and/or face recognition;
– Remote disabling. If the camera is reported stolen, it should not function.
Pointing out this could deliver the camera manufacturer a ‘first mover advantage’ in the market, the petition notes: ‘Our community will line up in droves to purchase cameras with anti-theft technology.’