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  • Apple Joins other Tech Giants and Wireless Carriers in Smartphone Anti-Theft Initiative


    A group of smartphone industry giants including Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft, signed onto a voluntary program which was spearheaded by the US wireless industry that looks to incorporate anti-theft technology into handsets by July 2015. Given the name “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment,” the initiative was announced by the CTIA recently as a plan to stymie growth of smartphone thefts in the US.

    The voluntary program is being backed by the top-five US wireless carriers, while smartphone and OS markers including Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung, all of which have agreed to participate according to Re/code. Companies that sign on to the commitment agree to make a “baseline anti-theft tool” available to customers who buy devices manufactured after July 2015. According to the document, the tool must allow users to remotely wipe data from a stolen or lost smartphone, rendering the device inoperable to an unauthorized user (aside from emergency calls as mandated by the FCC). This prevents reactivation without user consent and reverse said inoperability when the device is recovered.

    According to the CTI President and CEO, Steve Largent:

    We appreciate the commitment made by these companies to protect wireless users in the event their smartphones are lost or stolen. At the same time, it's important different technologies are available so that a 'trap door' isn't created that could be exploited by hackers and criminals. By working together with policymakers, law enforcement and consumers, we will deter theft and protect users' personal information on smartphones.
    The full “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” can be viewed on the CTIA’s official website. For Apple, many of the agreement’s anti-theft features are already built into iOS and iCloud with Find my iPhone and iOS 7’s Activation Lock. Find My iPhone lets users locate, lock and wipe lost or stolen devices, while Activation Lock requires entry of an associated Apple ID and password before turning off Find My iPhone, erasing data or re-activating a device after it’s been remotely erased.

    Although some states lauded the new initiative, others like California state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said the program isn’t enough. Leno said the following regarding the matter:

    The wireless industry today has taken an incremental yet inadequate step to address the epidemic of smartphone theft. Only weeks ago, they claimed that the approach they are taking today was infeasible and counterproductive. While I am encouraged they are moving off of that position so quickly, today's 'opt-in' proposal misses the mark if the ultimate goal is to combat street crime and violent thefts involving smartphones and tablets.
    Source: CTIA via Re/code
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Joins other Tech Giants and Wireless Carriers in Smartphone Anti-Theft Initiative started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. dbizzy1's Avatar
      dbizzy1 -
      This is great, but if they don't disable the phones ability to be turned off without entering the pass code tracking is useless. All thieves immediately turn the devices off so they can't be tracked....phone owners should get the satisfaction of seeing these kleptomaniac bastards catch the long arm of the law or the short barrel of a .45
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Well with Jailbreaking we can prevent the phone to be shut off with certain tweaks.. Since it's a JB tweak Apple will implement it into iOS eventually.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Don't give them any ideas. I don't want my phone to be tracked if it is off. If its stolen or lost, you just have to get another one. At the same time, don't make it easy. Don't make a market for a thief. Still waiting for that bandaid to be applied..tbc.
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
      Don't give them any ideas. I don't want my phone to be tracked if it is off.
      That's why it should just require a password/code to turn it off so you can track it if it is stolen but not be tracked if you turn it off.
    1. Xx_Illusions_xX's Avatar
      Xx_Illusions_xX -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
      Don't give them any ideas. I don't want my phone to be tracked if it is off. If its stolen or lost, you just have to get another one. At the same time, don't make it easy. Don't make a market for a thief. Still waiting for that bandaid to be applied..tbc.
      "I dont want my phone to be tracked if it's off." Woah you must be such an important person to be tracked. "If it's stolen or lost, you just have to get another one." There are people who can't afford another one. "At the same time, don't make it easy." I don't even know what to say.
    1. Pir8pete's Avatar
      Pir8pete -
      Quote Originally Posted by Theboyz View Post
      Don't give them any ideas. I don't want my phone to be tracked if it is off. If its stolen or lost, you just have to get another one. At the same time, don't make it easy. Don't make a market for a thief. Still waiting for that bandaid to be applied..tbc.
      whats your reasoning behind why you would want this incorporated sir? You loose your phone and have it so it can't be turned off so you can track it and get it back?
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Not if I lost my phone, if my phone was stolen.. but yes, that's pretty much it.