Stolen camera

If the camera is re-setup to a different account, then its cloud videos are associated to that new account and therefore you lose access to them.

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SMH. I tried.

So they’re doing a simple select on the MAC address and ignoring the associated account and date? That should be an easy fix. I do mean fix, not enhancement. Wyze obviously has no physical control over the camera or microSD, but complete control over the video they’re sending out. Not only could they be sending video to the wrong people, they’re nullifying the main benefit of claiming 14 days free cloud storage.

It should also be a warning (until fixed) to anyone giving these cameras away and thinking they’re safe by pulling the microSD. People putting them inside anyway. I would think more are given away than stolen.

I know this is definitely on the list to be fixed. I don’t know the timing though.

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I took a stab at some options:

Also, there could be an option “Format on power up” that could be triggered by the owner of the MAC address, should the MAC address attempt to go through the setup routine. Otherwise, the camera will not connect to the stored wifi and wouldn’t receive the command.

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That’s a good point: if someone steals your camera then activates it on a new account, is that other account able to see the videos stored in the cloud from the original account??

Ideally, there should be features to:

  1. Assign a camera to a user account
  2. Share the view/control of a camera with another account (by invite only)
  3. Delete or release control of a camera from an account (so it can be owned by someone else)
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#1 It gets assigned to an account when the original owner does the setup now. If the MAC is assigned to an owners account, don’t let it be added to a new user until it gets deleted from the original account.
#2 already exists
#3 is called “Delete Device” under settings. Once this is done the new owner can add it. Until then, they can’t see cloud videos and the original owner can delete them before deleting the device. Keep it simple. All of this should be accomplished by checking for the existence of the MAC during setup and tossing an error if it still exists.

Your account is your account. The camera is just the device that uploads to your cloud on your account. What’s stored in the cloud is only the 12 sec notifications, now called “events”. Those don’t vanish if your camera is stolen, dies, get unplugged etc. Events remain in your cloud for 14 days before they get automatically deleted.

If someone stole your camera the only thing they would get access to would be whatever is on the SD card in the camera. As for using the camera, they would need to do a hard reset on the camera, download the app, and set up the camera. But it won’t give them access to your account. Once the camera is reset it is as if came fresh from the factory.

In my opinion, locking a Wyze camera to a user account is overkill for a $20 device. It’s not an iPhone X. What would it be worth on the black market? Not to mention that there will probably be a 12 second clip of the thief saved to the owner’s cloud! Would a crackhead steal a Wyze camera? Yeah, probably. But you are more likely to have your lawn chair or garden hose stolen first.

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Brent, apparently you missed this:

Which means, the advertised 14 days of cloud stored video becomes as worthless as the stolen SD card for identifying who may have “done it.” Now, for a stolen $20 camera, I doubt anyone is going to put much effort into tracking it down. But, if it is a violent felony or other major felony and they took the camera, the advertised 14 days of cloud storage needs to be available to the person that purchased the camera.

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Has anyone actually verified that by hard resetting their own camera and seeing if their cloud stored footage disappears? I know I can physically disconnect my own camera and the cloud remains intact,

If resetting the camera causes footage on the cloud from that particular device to be deleted, then that means Wyze software is seeing the MAC address from a device that was previously associated with a different account and deleting any cloud footage generated by that device regardless of what account it is stored on. If the camera/software can communicate that well, it would seem much easier (and safer for the rightful owner) to just get a pop up message on the app saying “a camera registered to your account is being reset. Is this you?”.

You’re talking about it deleting them. Read this:

I address options in a previous post: Stolen camera

I would prefer the owner to have to knowingly delete the device. It’s two or three steps. I’ve seen too many people answer ‘yes’ without fully understanding and then it’s too late.

Any attempts by Wyze to make it difficult to reactivate a stolen camera will make it even more difficult for the support staff when someone legitimately sells or gives away the camera, driving up the cost. Probably not worth it.

Where do you see the support staff getting involved?

My proposal is that a MAC address has to be deleted by one owner before another “owner” or thief can add it. This would ensure the 14 days of cloud storage, which is what they bought with the camera, is retained by the original owner until they delete the device from their account.

I just did the following experiment with a V2:

  1. Logged app into Account#1 and verified that the V2 connects and that there are event clips for it in the Event list.

  2. Logged the app out of Account#1 and into Account#2.

  3. Pressed the + button on the home page to add a new camera.

  4. Pressed the setup button on the V2 (simulated stolen camera)

  5. Proceeded to setup this camera to Account#2 just as if it were new.

  6. Verified V2 connects for live stream under Acct#2.

  7. Checked Event page for clips for this camera in Acct#2 — no clips exist after refresh and several minute wait.

  8. Switched app back to Acct#1.

  9. Verified that the camera is no longer in the devices list and there are no longer any event videos for it available.

  10. Re-setup the camera back to Acct#1 : the pre-existing event clips are still no longer available.

Conclusions:

  1. A stolen camera can easily be activated to a new account, and if so…

  2. The thief will not gain access to previously recorded event clips, but…

  3. You will no longer be able to view the previously recorded event clips, even if the camera is retrieved.

As I mentioned earlier, Wyze has stated that they hope to modify the system so that the older cloud clips remain available to the original account. I have not heard when this modification may be completed.

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Thanks Rick,

#2 is better than expected, but #3 is the problem and also #1.

Ok, now I’m curious. What if the camera is simply being moved to another wifi under the same account? What will they do? Will the videos remain? I guess, no. What should they do? I say follow the same make them delete the camera and start fresh plan. It’s much cleaner in the long run.

Another experiment:

  1. With a V2 connected to SSID#1, generated a cloud event clip.
  2. Viewed cloud event clip in app.
  3. Without deleting the camera from the app, pressed the setup button and connected it to SSID#2 running on a different router.
  4. Gave the camera a different name.
  5. Viewed live stream via the new setup on SSID#2
  6. Checked Events page: original event clip still present and renamed with the new camera name.
  7. Repeated steps 3-6 but deleted the camera from the app first.
  8. This time, cloud clip is gone.

Conclusion:

You can retain existing cloud clips after setting up to a different wifi SSID, but only if you don’t delete the camera from the app first.

Just so I’m clear: If you setup the camera to a different user account, the cloud clips get deleted from the original account, but if you setup under the same user account, they remain? This is without the original owner deleting the camera from their account?

Correct.

If the camera is setup to a new account: clips are gone.

If the camera is setup to new wifi but same account without first deleting: clips remain.

If the camera is deleted then setup to same account: clips are gone.

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This is the only problem I see, the rest are preferred actions. The problem would be easily fixed by checking for the camera being installed under another user’s account before allowing the setup to continue and certainly before removing the videos from the original owner’s account.

As I mentioned elsewhere, Wyze has said that they plan to change it so that the clips stay with the account even if the camera leaves the account. But I have no idea what the schedule for that change is.

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