FCC's Wheeler Lauds Phone Theft Prevention Report
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today said the FCC Technological Advisory Council's Mobile Device Theft Prevention Working Group Report provides workable suggestions for curbing smartphone theft. Wheeler tasked the group earlier this year to investigate how best to cut down the number of phones stolen from U.S. consumers. The group delivered its report this week and makes three core recommendations. The group believes more on-device theft deterrents are needed, such as biometrics to keep them locked. It believes phone makers can better protect the unique numbers assigned to handsets (IMEI) to prevent new, clean identifying numbers being given to stolen phones. Last, it describes a clear way to generate a global database of stolen phones that operators will be able to check quickly. "Smart phone theft is a global problem that causes real harm in a variety of ways. It results in the loss of valuable devices, it often entails physical harm to the victim of the theft, and it can lead to disclosure of vital and confidential personal information stored on the stolen devices," said Wheeler. "While much work remains, the working group's report establishes the critical components of a holistic effort to eliminate smart phone theft." The group plans to continue its research. The CTIA and its constituents have already agreed to employ a number of preventative tools, such as passwords and remote lock/wipe.
CTIA Issues RFP for Stolen Device Database
The CTIA is looking for companies to help it with the Mobile Device Information Portal and issued a request for proposal to that effect. The portal is to be a central tool that consumers, carriers, and law enforcement can use to ascertain whether or not phones have been reported lost or stolen.
FCC Wants Smartphone Kill Switch On By Default
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today recommended that wireless carriers enable remote-locking and remote-data-wiping features by default. Most smartphones offer these features, but owners have to purposely turn them on.
CTIA Says Smartphones Better Protected Against Theft
Beginning today, most smartphones sold in the U.S. will include anti-theft security tools.
Buying A Used Phone? Verify It Through New CTIA Web Site
Consumers, law enforcement, and resellers now have a new way to verify if used or refurbished phones are legit. CTIA, the U.S.