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  • FIRST POST
    • joeypesci
    • By joeypesci 9th Apr 18, 12:30 AM
    • 510Posts
    • 185Thanks
    joeypesci
    Smartwater
    • #1
    • 9th Apr 18, 12:30 AM
    Smartwater 9th Apr 18 at 12:30 AM
    Anyone heard of this stuff? I saw it in London a few months back when I was there for a few days. Had never heard of it. Looked it up, it's like the old liquid microdots you used to be able to put on stuff (I don't know if they still do that). The microdots would have your details on for the police to find.

    However, I'm skeptical. I have two reasons why which I'll explain. A show like watchdog or it may have been watchdog many years ago did an experiment. Left their marked bike near a spot that was notorious for bike theft. From what I remember it was stolen and reported to the police informing them it was security marked. It came into their station at some point and was stuck on Bublebee actions. I believe it was then purchased by someone and then sold on at a boot sale. The police claimed the department that looked after stolen goods wasn't controlled by the police. So the police never thought to keep an eye on this department? To make sure they were actually checking for security marks? Clearly not.

    The other reason is I've now been introduced to smartwater at work. We have to put it on IT kit before giving it out. Being interested in security I wondered how good it really was. Bought myself a UV light. Checked all the already marked laptops and the person previously putting the liquid on is just slapping it on the back. It's clearly visible. Surely it makes more sense to hide it somewhat and then tell the police where to look. Reason I say is a little test with isopropanol alcohol and the stuff comes off easy. Rub half of it off and the rest actually ends up pealing off it's that bad. I thought maybe it leaves a big UV smear. Nope. Once cleaned there is no trace.

    What a waste of time and money. I admit, not all burglars are going to bother, they want to move stuff on as quick as possible but it still seems crappy that it's that easy to remove. Yet you still have to pay a subscription for the stuff instead of a one off purchase.

    EDIT-

    I'd like to also add if you decide to no longer use their subscription you're required to remove all Smartwater Protected stickers from your windows. Really? How is that even inforceable? You've already paid for said products, they surely can't claim "You're only paying for a licence to display the stickers".
    Last edited by joeypesci; 09-04-2018 at 12:36 AM.
Page 1
    • joeypesci
    • By joeypesci 9th Apr 18, 12:54 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    joeypesci
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 18, 12:54 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 18, 12:54 PM
    I assume no one has used this in their homes then? I'm even more skeptical about it. I questioned them on Twitter about the legality of demanding people remove the stickers when no longer subbed. Shortly after they blocked me from following their feed. What is the point in that when another twitter account can just be created to follow them.

    Very odd. Seems to me all marketing and they don't want their marketing ruined.

    Yes I can see it's uses, but not being transparent isn't helping.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 9th Apr 18, 1:26 PM
    • 2,350 Posts
    • 1,431 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 18, 1:26 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 18, 1:26 PM
    If they ain!!!8217;t got a lamp to look for the smart water it ain!!!8217;t getting found.
    • bob_a_builder
    • By bob_a_builder 9th Apr 18, 3:19 PM
    • 1,597 Posts
    • 777 Thanks
    bob_a_builder
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 18, 3:19 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 18, 3:19 PM
    But if all it takes is a UV light ?

    I seem to recall in the not to distant past we were urged to mark all of our gear with our post code with a UV pen

    Was none ever looking for that too ?
    • joeypesci
    • By joeypesci 9th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    joeypesci
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    True. A UV pen would be just as good as far as I can tell.

    I feel it's all marketing and it's good if it does work as a deterrent but appears unless you agree with them and go with their way of thinking they don't want to speak to you.

    Found this article from the CTO of IBM who appears to have been having an discussion with them for years.

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/02/smart_water.html
    • Rummer65
    • By Rummer65 9th Apr 18, 6:41 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Rummer65
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:41 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:41 PM
    The Met Police handed out free smart water kits about 3 years ago to mark your valuables with your address so if they found them after a burglary they could trace them back to you
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 9th Apr 18, 7:15 PM
    • 2,350 Posts
    • 1,431 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 7:15 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 7:15 PM
    The Met Police handed out free smart water kits about 3 years ago to mark your valuables with your address so if they found them after a burglary they could trace them back to you
    Originally posted by Rummer65
    And as I said providing the items are ever checked for smart water, the three reasons they wouldnít be are the police canít be arsed, no light and no batteries in the light.

    Oh and providing you keep up the yearly subscription with smart water.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 9th Apr 18, 7:16 PM
    • 2,350 Posts
    • 1,431 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 7:16 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 7:16 PM
    True. A UV pen would be just as good as far as I can tell.

    I feel it's all marketing and it's good if it does work as a deterrent but appears unless you agree with them and go with their way of thinking they don't want to speak to you.

    Found this article from the CTO of IBM who appears to have been having an discussion with them for years.

    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/02/smart_water.html
    Originally posted by joeypesci

    If you donít mind the marks being visible a much better option is. http://www.creproducts.co.uk/shop/default.asp
    • joeypesci
    • By joeypesci 9th Apr 18, 8:43 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    joeypesci
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 8:43 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 8:43 PM
    The Met Police handed out free smart water kits about 3 years ago to mark your valuables with your address so if they found them after a burglary they could trace them back to you
    Originally posted by Rummer65
    But the point is, its easily removed with the correct solution. And as mentioned, only if you keep up with the Smartwater subscription otherwise they don't appear to want to know. I assume they'll see the Smartwater mark, see you're no longer registered and then take no further action. I assume this would be when the police contact Smartwater. I assume Smartwater at that point would need a sample, otherwise how can they tell if you are registered or not. Once they read the sample and see you are no longer a subscribing, they'd then not pass your details onto the police. despite possibly still having your details.

    I think a UV pen maybe the way to go but in hidden areas. Note down where those areas are so you can inform the police where to look.
    • joeypesci
    • By joeypesci 15th May 18, 7:54 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    joeypesci
    I take some comments back. I the UV light I purchased was claimed to be 365nm UV light but isn't. It's just a weak, cheap one from Amazon. Good for UV pens and shows some stuff up round the house that you normally can't see but other than that it was a ripoff. Had to pay £34 for a Tank007 instead and that is true 365nm. Now the Smartwater glows green.


    I can see the use of it I guess. UV pens are good but takes longer writing your address on everything. And of course, you can't fit an address on a ring. At least with the Smartwater it's easy to brush on everything.


    But still object to the claim it's invisible. It's not, it does leave a clear shine on surfaces. They contradict themselves saying "Put it on uneven surfaces such as grills". "Don't put it near heat". Well a laptop's grills produce heat. I also don't understand the point of having the removable of all stickers and Smartwater displays if you give up the license. There is NO WAY they can police that, it's just not cost effective.


    Still, I guess it is worth it as got some on my hands today putting it on kit. You can't tell at all until you shine the torch and realise you're all green. That's probably what puts burglars off.
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