REVIEWER: Ken Bouche, vice president of Trace for MyThings.com.

BACKGROUND: MyThings.com is a global online registry of goods, where people can catalog and track their personal effects – everything from favorite gadgets to family heirlooms. The site also includes organizational features for keeping receipts and product information as well as social networking features for members to share information about their belongings if they wish. The company’s foundation is built upon identifying stolen property, especially art and antiques. The Web site began as a place where consumers and dealers would go to check if pending sales items were illegally obtained. Since then, MyThings.com has grown into two different areas. The first is MyThings, which maintains the registry of a person’s goods. The second part of the business, Trace, is the registry of known stolen goods. When an item is stolen, an individual, police official, insurance company or any other entity associated with the loss can upload an image of that object into the database. This sharing of information increases the opportunity to turn up leads or even solve the crime. Collectors, auction houses and other secondhand-market dealers search images on Trace.com to check if anything they may have purchased or are planning to sell has been reported stolen or lost. There is no charge associated with using the online search engine.

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