Surveillance footage of lost iPhone 5 prototype automatically erased

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Existing surveillance footage that could have offered answers to questions about an iPhone 5 prototype that went missing this summer has been automatically erased before being viewed by police investigators.



The recordings have been deleted in an automatic process after the hard drive storing the images reached full capacity, CNet reports. The drive contained footage from six surveillance cameras placed inside the Cava 22 bar where an Apple employee reportedly forgot a next-gen iPhone prototype on July 22.



But, the cameras do not record continuous video. Instead they take pictures roughly 3 minutes apart, which are then saved locally for a limited amount of time. On top of the gaps between recordings, sections of the bar are poorly lit. As such, these factors suggest the deleted surveillance footage may have not provided much insight into the matter even if retrieved in time.



The San Francisco Police Department recently requested access to the available recordings while looking into the role police officers played during Apple?s unofficial investigation of the situation. Jose Valle, whose family owns Cava 22, was unavailable when the police first asked for the available video recordings. He then contacted SFPD, but police officials have yet follow up on their investigation.



Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has not filed a police report, though it did conduct a search of a house in the Bernal Heights neighborhood on July 24 after tracking the missing iPhone to that location. Apple personnel allegedly performed the search of Sergio Calderon?s home, car and computer under police supervision. SFPD has said that the officers were not part of the actual search.



Credit: Greg Sandoval/CNet.



At this time, it remains unknown what happened to the lost iPhone prototype. In the two months since the event, images of the missing device or the actual unit do not appear to have made their way to the press ahead of the announcement of a new iPhone. Apple is expected to unveil at least one fifth-generation iPhone on Tuesday at 10 a.m. PDT.



This year's lost prototype fiasco oddly mirrors a similar situation from last year. In early 2010, an iPhone 4 test unit disguised as an iPhone 3GS was left in a German beer garden in California and ended up being purchased by a blog. Images of the prototype and a review of the pre-release unit were then published a few months ahead of the official iPhone 4 media event. The investigation in that case has been completed and the two suspects alleged to have found last year?s iPhone prototype have recently pleaded not guilty in an ongoing trial.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    Well, that was no surprise. At the old university I used to work for, we only maintained surveillance footage for only one month unless there was a special need to preserve it longer. I would have been surprised at a bar preserving pictures for months.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    If next year another prototype is left at a bar again, Apple will petition California to close all the bars within the state. Yeah, it's the bars' fault, not the stupid Apple employees
  • Reply 3 of 26
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marokero View Post


    If next year another prototype is left at a bar again, Apple will petition California to close all the bars within the state. Yeah, it's the bars' fault, not the stupid Apple employees



    Apple never claimed that the prototype loss was the bar's fault so I'm not sure why you are rolling your eyes.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    In another day, it won't matter at all, will it?
  • Reply 5 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    In another day, it won't matter at all, will it?



    Implying theft of intellectual property doesn't stop being illegal after the product's released?



    If that's the case, Samsung is off scott-free.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Implying theft of intellectual property doesn't stop being illegal after the product's released?



    If that's the case, Samsung is off scott-free.



    Sorry....but at best this is alleged theft. There is NO PROOF anything was stolen...merely that some Apple employee lost a phone. Lose != theft when there is nothing to prove the phone was stolen.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lamewing View Post


    Sorry....but at best this is alleged theft. There is NO PROOF anything was stolen...merely that some Apple employee lost a phone. Lose != theft when there is nothing to prove the phone was stolen.



    Well, he lost it? and it's gone now. Not in the bar, not at Apple.



    It has been stolen. Someone other than the owner currently has it and has no intention of returning it.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Implying theft of intellectual property doesn't stop being illegal after the product's released?



    If that's the case, Samsung is off scott-free.



    Not implying that at all. But if you want to steal IP, you can buy one yourself soon enough.



    As for the so-called lost phone: maybe it is truly lost? Gone into the trash, overlooked, deactivated, possibly lost forever.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Wow. You'd think that the police would not wait months to capture evidence? It's not like this is a cold case.



    I would have thought the police had investigations down to a routine. Shouldn't be that difficult to ensure that evidence is always preserved.



    Think the cops and DA were smoking' some medicinal weed?
  • Reply 10 of 26
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Well, he lost it… and it's gone now. Not in the bar, not at Apple.



    It has been stolen. Someone other than the owner currently has it and has no intention of returning it.



    Unless of course it was returned to Apple, perhaps just hours after their search. Speculation is just speculation. Police have said no theft is being investigated. They are investigating their own actions (and by extension Apple's).
  • Reply 11 of 26
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,819member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    In another day, it won't matter at all, will it?



    This is a serious case because the missing iPhone might've been sold to the likes of Samsung who are willing to pay a lot more for it than Gizmodo.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Existing surveillance footage that could have offered answers to questions about an iPhone 5 prototype that went missing this summer has been automatically erased before being viewed by police investigators.



    Their surveillance system is the Rose Mary Woods model 1972.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    Apple never claimed that the prototype loss was the bar's fault so I'm not sure why you are rolling your eyes.



    It's his tribal name: No-Brain Rolling Eyes.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    I think what we'll see is a lot of people hungering for publicity/martyrdom. If I'm right, you'll also see that Cook got to a certain point and then eased back on finding the phone.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lamewing View Post


    Sorry....but at best this is alleged theft. There is NO PROOF anything was stolen...merely that some Apple employee lost a phone. Lose != theft when there is nothing to prove the phone was stolen.



    Well, there's not much data about this case, but it's clear what California law is. You pick up something that isn't yours, you have to attempt to return it, or else it's presumed a theft.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    In another day, it won't matter at all, will it?



    The much bigger issue that should be investigated is the role SFPD played in the case. To heck with the prototype, I want to know if SFPD are conducting searches without warrants and/or allowing 3rd parties to do so under the guise of being police.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    I've been in Security for 30 years consulting on cctv system design for 20. I've got a few observations. First a bar puts in cctv to detect theft, cash shortages, sweathearting drinks--free drinks given by staff when they are not authorized, age/id issues,potential "last drink" issues in accidents etc. Yes, its possible an idiot owner/manager buys a cctv system with a digital recorder that is cheap enough and poorly configured to record one frame every few minutes but it would be useless and serve no useful purpose. Very very unlikely. The video should be there for at last a week. Assuming Apple reports the phone missing the next day the police are most likely at the bar within 72 hours. Any info on the recorder is reviewed, copied, archived, and saved. Video of the police visit is gone whenever the right person wants it gone or usually one month at the longest but most likely a week. Quality and length of storage = $$$$. So most likely video of the potential loss was reviewed. Video of the cops in the bar would be gone most likely.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marokero View Post


    If next year another prototype is left at a bar again, Apple will petition California to close all the bars within the state. Yeah, it's the bars' fault, not the stupid Apple employees



    there's no proof that this event really happened. Especially now that the bar can't produce photos of the Apple employee that was there and 'lost' his/her phone.



    it's all rather convenient and odd. What would be the point in wanting to see the footage anyway. The only 'confirmed' investigation is the one about the issue of whether the SFPD overstepped their bounds allegedly taking the Apple Gestapo to the poor victim's house and then helped harass him with threats of deporting his loved ones and sending him to Gitmo. or whatever they supposedly said to him. How would the footage relate to said issue.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lamewing View Post


    Sorry....but at best this is alleged theft. There is NO PROOF anything was stolen...merely that some Apple employee lost a phone. Lose != theft when there is nothing to prove the phone was stolen.



    Cali law disagrees. As we learned when Gary whatshisname lost his prototype last year, if you find something that wasn't yours and you don't make a genuine effort to return it to the rightful owner by Cali law, you stole it.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post


    Wow. You'd think that the police would not wait months to capture evidence? It's not like this is a cold case.



    I would have thought the police had investigations down to a routine. Shouldn't be that difficult to ensure that evidence is always preserved.



    Think the cops and DA were smoking' some medicinal weed?



    Nope. According to the stories, Apple never filed a police report, allegedly because they didn't want the negative PR of losing yet another phone or the risk of details about the phone getting out. Supposedly they sent a couple of gumbas to ask the cops to help them go ask about a lost item that they had reason to believe was at this particular guy's house. Going with someone in such a manner is not out of line for the police in a general sense.



    Now according to the stories. the guy admitted he was at the particular bar the couple of days before (which is already suspect cause Apple wouldn't wait to try to get it back but the stories claim they did). Supposedly, he says that the police asked to search the house and didn't tell him that the two Apple employees were not cops. And it was this two folks that went in the house, etc. Meanwhile the real cops were outside, not supervising and basically telling him that he better not be lying or he'd be deported and everyone he knows with him.



    so like a month later, word gets back to the SFPD about these claims and then they decide to investigate that. But never was the phone filed etc. In fact it seems that there was no record of a phone related to the visit which is why originally the SFPD denied they did anything -- they were asked about searching for a phone.



    if you go back and look at the statements and who said what, there was a lot of evidence by the alleged theft and the bar and the stuff supposedly by the cops is very wishy washy. a lot of 'i guess' and 'perhaps' in places where one would think he wouldn't say anything without getting the details and making a firm statement.



    Even the LinkedIn profile is off. LinkedIn is a professional business network. And this supposed Apple employee uploads a shot in a wifebeater and shades. ???? Really????
  • Reply 19 of 26
    So what they're saying is: this surveillance system is for show only. Don't expect it to help solve any real crime.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Existing surveillance footage ... has been automatically erased before being viewed by police investigators.



    Ahh, once they knew it was erased, they shouldn't have bothered viewing it!



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