Apple, Google, Microsoft and others join forces to improve smartphone anti-theft measures

By Justin Kahn
Apr 16, 2014
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  1. Many of the world leading mobile phone companies have come together to sign a pledge promising to mitigate phone theft, according to recent reports. Some of the biggest players in the industry, including Apple, Google, HTC, Microsoft and many others...

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  2. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,177   +511

    By your powers combined I am Captain Planet!

    But seriously, this is nice the tech giants can work together on this. I remember a few months back my friends phone got stolen and even though he had the tracker up the police refused to go to the house where it was sitting until the tracker got turned off...
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,050   +699

    I don't think a kill/wipe feature is what we need. That doesn't do anything to catch the criminal, it just tries to deter the crime. We need a feature that will broadcast location info and can't be turned off or wiped with a factory reset. The info would be broadcast to your carrier or manufacturer only (they probably know where your phone is anyway) and the serial on the phone could be tied to you when you registered the phone after you bought it. That way if your phone is lost/stolen you could call them up and find it.

    There would have to be a way to transfer the registration for 2nd hand phone sales, and you'd need to easily see that a phone had this installed on it for checked during 2nd hand sales.

    This would allow law enforcement to find the stolen phones. If phone crooks think there's a good chance they'll get caught maybe it'll deter some crime. It'll also deter buying a stolen phone.
  4. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,846   +887

    It is about time!
  5. To MilwaukeeMike,

    apple came out this this last year with IOS7,

    Only saying this in case you didn't know.. IF the owner of an IOS 7+ device has entered their iCloud username and password, even with a wipe (or even IOS version downgrade), upon activation, the system prompts the user for this log in credentials.

    This, in essence, makes iphones pointless to steal, unless only for parts.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,671   +509

  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,332   +381

    The only problem with that is it won't take but days if not hours before someone (probably a Russian) comes up with a hack to circumvent the "stolen broadcast" alert.

    I think the only real viable - and economical - solution is the kill switch.

    Just my 2 bits...
  8. Rippleman

    Rippleman TechSpot Booster Posts: 145   +26

    Apple already did this. For those that don't know how it works:

    When someone with IOS7+ is signed into the phone with their iCloud credentials, the phone is useless if it gets stolen. Even with a wipe, or a version downgrade, upon activating IOS, the system asks for the users credentials before activating rendering the phone useless.

    Tip: this is also a hassle for some... when buying a used iDevice, MAKE SURE the user turns off "FIND MY PHONE", since the device will be useless to you if you don't.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,970   +729

    Even that's not good enough, I'd like my phone to blow off the thief's fingers when he/she turns it back on after inserting another SIM card.
    Spykezxp likes this.
  10. Spykezxp

    Spykezxp TechSpot Booster Posts: 144   +23

    I think it would teach them a lesson. But I could also see (in this day and age of everyone suing each other) the thief who stole the phone suing the original owner of the phone for activating the "Explode Stolen Phone" feature.
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,970   +729

    But how is the thief going to prove it was your phone when 9/10th's of it is embedded in their hand?
     
  12. NTAPRO

    NTAPRO TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 807   +91

    Where's the humanity :(
  13. misor

    misor TechSpot Addict Posts: 994   +149

    Make the expensive smartphones dirt-cheap.
    if all people have them, there is no more incentive for ordinary thieves to steal 'common', cheap smartphones.
    the additional hardware/software needed for the 'kill switch system' is just an excuse for manufacturers to jack up prices again when the individual price of smartphonecomponents are going down.

    maybe the phone industry will declare the era of thief-magnet, expensive smartphones is over.
    (thumbs up for the 15-second automatic delay to prevent double posting. :) )
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  14. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 207   +6

    • Blatant trolling, adds nothing to the discussion at hand.

    Which was probably several years after others but ofc Apple would have claimed it was revolutionary.
  15. lmike6453

    lmike6453 Newcomer, in training Posts: 98   +6

    What if I wanted to opt out where I don't want this "feature" to be tracked?
    p.s - I'm not doing anything wrong, I just value my privacy...may I have some?


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