iOS 7's Activation Lock Feature Helping Reduce iPhone Theft in Three Major Cities

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today that Apple's Activation Lock feature in iOS 7 has led to a "significant" reduction of iPhone-related theft in New York, London, and San Francisco, reports The New York Times.

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    Measuring crime after Apple introduced Activation Lock alongside iOS 7 last Fall, police officers in San Francisco said that iPhone robberies in the city fell 38 percent, with London experiencing a 24 percent drop. Meanwhile, the New York Police Department said that iPhone robberies dropped 19 percent, while grand larcenies including the device dropped 29 percent in the first five months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year.
    Apple's Activation Lock feature, which prevents stolen phones from being reactivated without an iCloud password, has received praise from various groups since its inclusion in iOS 7. Schneiderman, along with San Francisco attorney George Gascón, spearheaded smartphone anti-theft efforts last year and called Apple's Activation Lock the "world's first attempt to implement a technological solution to the global smartphone theft epidemic."

    Apple also entered a voluntary agreement with a number of other smartphone makers in April to include anti-theft technology on all smartphones going on sale after July 2015. Under that agreement, every phone sold would have capabilities allowing users to remotely wipe data and to prevent reactivation without the owner's permission. It is likely that Apple's Activation Lock and Find My iPhone features already satisfy the requirements of the agreement.

    Article Link: iOS 7's Activation Lock Feature Helping Reduce iPhone Theft in Three Major Cities
     
  2. macrumors 68040

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    i don't get it. If my iphone is lost or stolen what happen to it?
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

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    Probably nothing. Thieves or other people can't use it unless they have your Apple ID credentials.

    Could probably strip it for spare parts, but I don't think that's a booming business model, seeing as replacement parts are actually really cheap compared to a fully assembled and functional iPhone.

    So, yeah. Probably nothing.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

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    Modus operandi will soon change……...

    Is a good step forward.
    I’m wondering what those that relieve people of iPhones will think of next.

    Back in the days when car theft was easy you’d wake up in the morning to find your driveway empty. Thieves now have to break into your house to get the keys which is potentially more worrying!!!!
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    I wish iOS had an option to enter the passcode to turn off the phone. Now, thieves can't turn off the device and just wait for "Find My iPhone" to track them down.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    that's actually pretty smart. amazing.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    regkilla

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    #7
    This is good to hear.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    moldy lunchbox

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    That would actually be really smart considering you can't take out the battery. Atleast, not relatively easily...might submit this idea to Apple.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    regkilla

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    The thieves will just toss it in water.
     
  10. PocketSand11, Jun 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014

    macrumors 6502a

    PocketSand11

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  11. macrumors 6502a

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    ...Which would kind of invalidate the point in stealing a phone? Might as well just grab it out of people's hand and smash it to the ground, on the street.

    Or the thieves could just hide it in metal/concrete that would block all signal or, if your phone is on AT&T's network, the thieves would just kick back and laugh.

    These people almost deserved to have their phones hacked though.
     
  12. macrumors 601

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    #12
    Or they could use Control Center to turn Airplane Mode on from the lock screen.

    It's not all that smart (it's been thought of many times before and dismissed for a range of reasons) and it would almost certainly be illegal in some places. For safety reasons, you need to be able to turn off a device which contains radios without requiring a password.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Corrode

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    Glad to hear it's having a positive impact. The further word spreads, the less theft will be a problem.

    Now they just gotta remove airplane mode from control centre.
     
  14. macrumors member

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    #14
    lol, what if i do not know my wife's passcode and i am carrying her phone in a flight?
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    BvizioN

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    Pointless, if thieves are still able to remove the sim card!!
     
  16. macrumors regular

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  17. macrumors 6502a

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    Then you're not carrying her phone in a flight, but on the long distance bus. Sorry pal, rules are rules.
     
  18. Contributor

    ron7624

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    #18
    That is a fantastic idea. Have you suggested that to Apple?
     
  19. PocketSand11, Jun 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014

    macrumors 6502a

    PocketSand11

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    The hackers or the victims? I don't see why the victims deserve that. The hackers deserved to have their phones hacked, and much worse things...

    ----------

    Activation Lock invalidates the point of stealing the phone anyway. There's nothing to be done with a locked iPhone. The only reason to disable the power button would be to increase the chances of successfully tracking the thief, but the thief shouldn't have any reason to steal the phone in the first place.

    Also, Find My iPhone is kinda wimpy. I want something that not only shows where it is but where it's been :cool: Boom, stolen iPhone trade center in China located. Yes, those exist. I know because my dad's iPhone was left in a taxi while it was running a tracking app in the background.

    ----------

    Good point. The SIM card is easy to remove. They can't Activation Lock that. As another poster mentioned, there's also airplane mode in Control Center. I wouldn't want a passcode required to toggle that.
     
  20. macrumors 604

    bushido

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    theres still dfu mode though. its important to have in case some app freezes your phone for example. rare but it does happen
     
  21. macrumors member

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    #21
    They were hacked because password reuse, it's not Apple software weakness. They used same password for multiple services or web sites. One of those services was hacked, so hackers got their passwords and just randomly guessed it.
     
  22. macrumors 603

    MH01

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    #22
    A good idea but sadly the iphone battery is too short for that to be useful.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    pauliaK

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    #23
    It's all nice and good. The part I dislike a lot is the inability to contact the owner of the device himself letting him know you got his phone and that you're willing to return it back.

    I don't get it why apple ID account email is hidden and thus preventing you from emailing the person, other than that there is no other information available.

    There could at least be an option or a button or something to send an email to the email address mentioned it can be a message that you send without actually seeing the recipients full email address, I mean an ability to provide your contact information so that the owner himself could contact you.

    I would be more than happy to return the phone that I found a few days ago while traveling in Isreal, based on sim card inside it belongs to T-Mobile USA customer, I tired calling them, but no luck there, basically told me I can keep the phone, sim has been deactivated and they no record of the customer any longer.

    I'll try calling Apple today, not expecting much but this is the last thing I can come up with.

    So as you understand I'd be more than happy to return the phone back to the original owner but as of now all my efforts failed.

    My point is, although it's good and welcome but the system is far from perfect and simple things as ability to simply let the owner know you got his phone would make quite a few unfortunate fellows happy as well as those who are doing their best to return the thing back life a lot easier.
     
  24. macrumors regular

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    Surely whoever receives the phone can just get in touch with the person who sent it to them, and get them to go through the steps here?
    http://support.apple.com/kb/PH2702

    Either that, or they send it back asking them to remove the activation lock first. I don't see why someone would strip it and "melt down the motherboard".
     
  25. macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Do you also wish it had an option to enter the passcode to take out the SIM card?

    Because then theft would be replaced by blackmail as a lucrative crime. "Want your phone back? Send me some bitcoin and I'll mail it to you."
     

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