Smartphone theft fight gains UK support

By , Aug 13, 2013

stolen stuff from car

The issue over smartphone thefts has taken on a British flavor. London’s mayor now says he supports calls by American law enforcement officials asking Apple and others to beef up ways to prevent stolen phones.

In a statement, London Mayor Boris Johnson said smartphone makers should “take this issue seriously.” Already, a half-dozen American officials have joined the ‘Secure Our Smartphones’ campaign, stretching from Hawaii to Delaware…

“Residents and visitors to our city need better protection from the menace of smartphone theft,” Johnson said last week, according to AllThingsD.

We need the industry to take this issue seriously and come up with a technical solution that can squash the illegal smartphone market that is fueling this crime.

San Francisco District Attorney General George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman held a summit in June, inviting Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft to discuss what they are doing to use technology to stem the rise of smartphone-related crimes.

Activation Lock (iPhone screenshot 001)

The San Francisco crime fighter, who has pushed for a physical “kill switch” came away from the meeting pleased. Apple is adding an Activation Lock feature to iOS 7 which prevents a carrier activation even after a thief has disabled Find My iPhone or performed a full reset of the device.

Samsung isn’t standing still either. The South Korean company is working with Absolute Software to include an anti-theft measure in the Galaxy S4, powered by Google’s Android mobile software.

Do you think Apple is doing enough to prevent smartphone theft?

And what other features, if any, the company should introduce to make its devices more secure?

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  • Ghost

    The value of ur used phone is $0 , sorry we can’t accept the trade-in lol

  • Amad

    Best thing you done boris since you became mayor.

  • YzMENTALzY

    Borris is a idiot simple as that he doesnt know anything remember there is always a way around it as its just software but hey gotta see how apple impliment it somehow the new fingerprint thing might work to a certain extent but remember the motorola Atrix? That had problems with fingerprint sensor not sensing the finger etc…. And by reports apple may just use it on the home button which arent really that reliable in the long run… I would say use IDEX fingerprintnglass screen which would be better.

  • Ted Forbes

    Get serious, this effort is incomplete. This effort to discourage phones from being stolen is not enough it should also include retrieving the phone and catching the culprit. If this can be done then this will discourage or minimize phone theft.

    The police is always called on for everything and since this is adding to the list I mean very seriously burning a hole in the resources of the police, it is time someone pay for this and bring some relief to the resources of the police. Even though this is wishful thinking I can think of no other than the big mobile phone tech industries flush with tens of billions of dollars with no end to their cash flow in sight. Once the police retrieve the phone the owner can pay a small fee to collect it.

    Since the phone is deactivated and can not be activated without the user account, then how about the option to turn on “send a signal to the device” from the user account. Since the device is either connect to wifi, gps, cel-tower, blue-tooth or tethered to the a computer via the Internet in return the the device will email or text its “fix location” and this information sent to the police website or something.

    The phone tech industry is flushed with cash, if they are serious about this effort then they should all combine in this effort to make this happen to prevent phone theft and also to retrieve the stolen or lost phones. If they are serious, how much more serious than this can they get. They can really make this happen if they want.

  • Ted Forbes

    If they can not activate the phone is it enough to prevent the phone from theft? Stolen phones like stolen vehicles can also be used for parts. What will they think of next?

    • Alex Rodriguez

      What do you expect the police force to do? Everyone has a smartphone nowadays and providing proof it was stolen is near impossible. Should the police force spend its time catching thieves ? 99% of the the time the owner misplaced the phone. People rarely are brazen enough to stick their hands in your pants and take it. I feel apple does enough, it could be Better but for now it’s sufficient.

  • Taf Khan

    Finger print to activate/re-activate seems logical to me.

    Also, apple to activate tracking at the request of the owner would help.

    It’s a matter of time before the thief gets caught and the phone is recovered.

    As for the thief, lock em up for 2 years. That’s the same as trying to change the IMEI number on a phone in the UK.