AT&T Unveiling New Blocking Service for Stolen Phones Next Week

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Originally announced this past April, AT&T will unveil a database of stolen phones to prevent lost devices from connecting to the carrier's network. The Verge reported the launch with a leaked internal AT&T screenshot showing a launch date of July 10, 2012.


    AT&T issued this statement to MacRumors:
    The Verge notes that AT&T's guidance for staffers says "only the person who originated a block may request block removal". It's unclear how exactly the database will work, including preventing legitimate transfers in ownership from being flagged by malicious actors, but we expect to have more details from AT&T as the launch date for the stolen phone database comes closer.

    Article Link: AT&T Unveiling New Blocking Service for Stolen Phones Next Week
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2009
    Santa Monica, CA
    I imagine this will be used in some nasty divorces.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Apr 1, 2005
    All I can say is: About time.

    How many thousands of phones have been stolen over the years, only for AT&T to simply allow the thief to activate them and the victim to have to pay full freight for a new phone. Hopefully, this move will be adopted by other carriers and make cellphones less attractive to thieves.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Like the Find My iPhone feature, this is amazing but I hope I'll never have to use it.
  5. macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Yeah, no chance of this turning into a fiasco.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    It's about time. Apple should have already done this.
  7. macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    What's stopping these thieves from selling internationally or using other carriers?
  8. macrumors 65816

    Mar 16, 2012
    Haven't other carieers been doing this for years?
  9. macrumors 68040


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    What's to stop you from unlocking it and using it on another carrier/ship it somewhere else?

    I guess it also means blocked from all AT&T MVNOs like Straight Talk
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    Right step, but this won't help the original owner in retrieving the stolen phone.

    Need to teach those thieves a lesson
  11. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Good idea in principle, but there's going to be a lot of problems as far as illegitimate denials of service, scams, etc. I also doubt the number of stolen phones makes this worth the cost of implementing.
  12. macrumors 68040


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    CDMA, never a GSM carrier. This would stop you from just putting in another SIM card and using it.
  13. xhArRiSoNxD, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2008
    This is great. But I have an unlocked phone on T-Mobile. Can I still call them and say my phone is stolen?

    They won't/shouldn't be able to unlock it after it is stolen because AT&T does the unlocking. So they just look up in their database if the phone was reported stolen before they do your unlock request. Simple. Now that's one way of getting revenge of your stolen iPhone!
  14. macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2012
    We've had this in Australia across all carriers since the birth of GSM, same with Europe.
  15. macrumors 604


    May 4, 2002
    Go Vegan
    I wonder if my first 4GB iPhone (model 1) can now be officially banned on AT&T. It was stolen years ago, AT&T then said there was no policy in place on stolen phones. I still have the iPhone's serial # and such, it's worth a shot. I wouldn't be surprised if it was still being used. :rolleyes:
  16. macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2008
    That's great, but we should have something like an "universal blacklist" shared between all carriers in the world...
  17. macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2008
    Nextel was able to do this 10 years ago when I worked there and they were SIM card based just not GSM.
  18. macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2008
    Akron, OH
    I couldn't help but notice the bullet reading "The line is automatically be suspended if..."- sorry, but you'd think AT&T would've proofread this prior to sending it out.
  19. macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    How about bringing back truly unlimited, unthrottled data AT&T?
  20. macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2010
    What about people that are buying used phones? What's to stop the owner to claim their phone was stolen after the sale?
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Maybe they can remotely set the battery on fire ;)
  22. Vizin, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
  23. macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2005
    This sounds like it could be a good step, but I do think Apple could design a nice solution of their own, perhaps giving an option to remotely brick your phone through your Apple ID account, when associated with it. It could ask you if you're really sure etc... but it would solve the problem of worrying about 'malicious actors' (insert your favourite bad movie star joke here).
  24. macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2009
    Good intention, wrong process.

    Let the stolen phone be activated and then send the gps/tower coordinates to your local PD. :D or hold the coords and see if there is a pattern in location before sending in the cavalry.

    Remote wipe feature is useless. Can pull all data and reset the phone before owner even realizes.
  25. macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I was thinking the same thing. Little mistakes like that peeve me to no end.

    On another note, could someone sell their phone on Craigslist to an honest buyer and then turn around and report it stolen and leave the buyer with a useless phone?

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