New York Attorney General Presses Apple and Google on Smartphone Thefts

NewImageWith 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.

In his letter to the companies, Schneiderman cited the April 2012 murder of a 26-year-old chef at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan who was killed for his iPhone on his way home, and a February incident this year in which three people were stabbed on a subway platform in the Queens section of New York in a fight over an iPhone.

Schneiderman said he would be “especially concerned” if the companies, which may have failed to live up to representations to consumers about safety and security, have benefited from increased sales of replacement devices.

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.

Top Rated Comments

mariusaz Avatar
143 months ago
It's not the manufacturer's job to combat theft of their devices.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genovelle Avatar
143 months ago
You obviously don't view the world through the eyes of a liberal.
Its ALWAYS someone elses fault.
According to the conservatives it's always the liberal's fault. How is that for logic.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThisIsNotMe Avatar
143 months ago
It's not the manufacturer's job to combat theft of their devices.

You obviously don't view the world through the eyes of a liberal.
Its ALWAYS someone elses fault.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnparjr Avatar
143 months ago
if my truck is stolen is Toyota responsible?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rocko1 Avatar
143 months ago
It's not the manufacturer's job to combat theft of their devices.

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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spacepower7 Avatar
143 months ago
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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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