New York Attorney General Presses Apple and Google on Smartphone Thefts

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, May 13, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    With New York City seeing significant increases in the theft of Apple products in recent years -- up 40 percent in 2012 from the prior year -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has written to a number of smartphone manufacturers to ask what the companies are doing to combat the thefts of their devices, reports Bloomberg.

    San Francisco district attorney Georce Gascón has previously pressed Apple about the possibility of a 'kill switch' in iOS devices to disable them if stolen, but said he was 'underwhelmed' by Apple's response.

    A national stolen phone database that was rolled out recently has reportedly had little effect on smartphone thefts.
    While Apple and other smartphone makers would receive some minor monetary benefit from victims purchasing replacement phones, the revenue would be a drop in the bucket compared to the overall smartphone market.

    Additionally, the goodwill generated by disabling stolen phones would more than outweigh any fiscal impact. Apple does offer a free service called 'Find My iPhone' that can erase or lock stolen phones, but erasing a phone does not render the phone unusable.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: New York Attorney General Presses Apple and Google on Smartphone Thefts
  2. bdkennedy1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 24, 2002
  3. al0513 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2011

    Killswitch will be great.

    But, what if someone hacked your Apple/Google account? They can then kill your phone / erase any data stored on the cloud.
  4. mariusaz macrumors member

    May 10, 2007
    It's not the manufacturer's job to combat theft of their devices.
  5. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2003
    Good. Apple certainly has the ability to do this. It wouldn't be hard at all. To keep the kill switch process secure, they could simply require that the owner submit a police report before they disable the phone.

    Imagine what a great selling point that would be: a virtually unstealable phone!
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    While smartphone thefts need attention, the NY AG sure seems to be interested in projects that seem rather silly. A smartphone is a fairly big deal considering the price (off contract), but does the NY AG really need to be involved?
  7. afawcett macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2010
    San Diego
    I thought it was strange to see so many public officials placing so much pressure on Apple and Google to place antitheft protection on their smart phones. However, other companies have been doing this for years. For example, car companies used keys as an antitheft deterrent. Later on they introduced transponders. Find My iPhone does nothing to stop a thief from making an easy $400.
  8. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Yeah, I can't wait 'til the lowlifes of the world figure out how to throw the killswitch on other people's cell phones.

    Great idea. Mr. Schneiderman. /sarcasm
  9. AppleMark macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2009
    The CCTV Capital of the World
    Sadly, a database is not going to stop a person being killed for their iPhone. I see the merit in the idea, but the implementation of it will need to be given further consideration.
  10. madmin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012
    It's about time something was done here (and many other areas), I welcome this as a helpful nudge to encourage Apple to speed things up.
  11. ThisIsNotMe Suspended

    Aug 11, 2008
    You obviously don't view the world through the eyes of a liberal.
    Its ALWAYS someone elses fault.
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    May not be a responsibility; but as a good citizen they can do more to stop thefts and beatings that some thefts lead to.
  13. johnparjr macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
  14. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    That depends, is your truck a Toyota? I kid, I kid.
  15. genovelle macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    According to the conservatives it's always the liberal's fault. How is that for logic.
  16. Yvan256 macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    Didn't I read that most stolen phones just get exported overseas?

    Unless the manufacturers implement a kill switch to completely disable the phones, this is pointless.
  17. Rocko1 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2011
    No, but it's the carriers responsibility to make stolen devices worthless. Hard to register a stolen car, make it hard/impossible to activate a stolen phone.
  18. iHEARTcartoons macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2011
    San Diego
    "New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has written to a number of smartphone manufacturers to ask what the companies are doing to combat the thefts of their devices"

    Flooding the market with as many as possible.
  19. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Stolen phones have been a problem for more than a decade.

    Blame the carriers for allowing stolen phones back on their networks.

    The carriers are the ones who allowed this problem to exist, and grow.

    If the carriers would have started blocking stolen phones a decade ago this would be a minor problem now.

    Many stolen smartphones are crimes of opportunity. They aren't all done by underground groups that export them, as the media likes speculate.
  20. musicianm macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Should be able to

    Only because each phone has it's own identification number and can be electronically monitored. Should be easy for them to do this.

    If you have a cell phone service, AT&T or whomever, should be able to identify that your account is tied to that number, and should be able to lock the device until it's recovered.
  21. Millah macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2008
    Maybe Apple IS working on an antitheft solution.....and just doesn't want anybody to know about it yet until they announce the new phone. Sounds exactly like what the fingerprint sensor could help with ;)
  22. nsfw macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2009
    Sure it is. If the resale value is $0 instead of $20, then no ones phone is going to get stolen.
    We don't user operated kill switches. Apple+the carriers know your unique device identifiers. They could blacklist the device so it would never work on a network again. Sure, I supposed the device would still have some value as an ipod touch type device but I think the thieves would move on to stealing something else.
  23. surma884 macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    This is the dumbest statement ever. It's not their job but it is their responsibility to prevent people from using stolen merchandise. Look at the car industry. They have anti-theft systems where you can't hot wire the cars anymore because of a computer chip in the key. Wireless carriers and phone manufacturers need to work together to black list stolen phones so that they can never be used unless they goto the carrier to get it unlocked by providing proof of purchase and ID. Satellite providers have the capability to blacklist receivers, so if your receiver is stolen you can tell DirecTV or Dish and they will deactivate the receiver.
  24. nizzard macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2011
    My Maxima was stolen a few years ago. What is Nissan doing about this so they don't benefit from me having to repurchase a car?
  25. surma884 macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    They can make it so if the device is blacklisted it cannot be used at all. For example, as soon as the device is turned on it shows an error message saying "the device has been marked as stolen". This way it can't be used for anything.

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