I'm sending this email from a demo phone at the phone store where I work because I just had my Android phone—complete with the Savage Love app—stolen by a customer. And while that sucks, I am not asking for your phone or anything like that...

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I am 90% positive my memory card had some old sexting pics sent to me by my lovely and wonderful girlfriend about 18 months ago when we were temporarily long distance. While she never explicitly told me to delete them, I feel like that's implicit. Now I MIGHT have pulled them off the phone, and the thief might not find them (they'd be buried under a bunch of pics of my niece), and even if they do find them they may not put them on the Internet.

So do I have to tell my girlfriend? She won't be TOO angry with me but she'll be paranoid for sure. What is my disclosure level here? And how do I comfort her as there are thousands of web sites that her pics could wind up on. I dunno what to do or say.

Stolen Phone Blues

My response after the jump...


I'm not sure what you should do—tell the girlfriend and let her worry needlessly? let her live in blissful ignorance until a friend sends her a damning URL?—but I do know how I'll be doing on my commute tonight: deleting incriminating pictures from my cell phone. Thanks for the timely reminder, SPB.

If you do tell the girlfriend, SPB, reassure her that people don't steal cell phones to access private pics. They steal a phone, pop out the memory card, and sell the phone—and the sooner a phone is disabled (the sooner you close your account), the sooner your memory card will be popped out and your phone will be resold. I assume you know this, as you're a phone professional.