New York Attorney General Calls for Summit with Cellphone Makers to Combat Device Theft

schneidermanWith the theft of Apple products on the rise, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has called for a summit with representatives from the four major smartphone manufacturers, reports the Huffington Post.

Next week, Schneiderman plans to meet with officials from Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, where he will present questions on the actions that the companies plan to take to combat device theft.

Schneiderman, along with San Francisco district attorney George Gascón, will question Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft officials in New York about why they have not yet developed technology that renders stolen mobile devices inoperable, eliminating the incentive for theft.

"The theft of handheld devices is the fastest-growing street crime, and increasingly, incidents are turning violent," Schneiderman said in a statement Wednesday. "It's time for manufacturers to be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live."

Both Schneiderman and San Francisco DA George Gascón have spearheaded efforts to cut down on device crime. Gascón has promoted the idea of a "kill switch" in Apple devices that could be used to permanently disable them in the event of a theft and Schneiderman has followed in his footsteps, sending out inquiry letters on device theft to smartphone manufacturers last month.

While all four major U.S. carriers implemented a shared database to track stolen mobile phones last year, it has proven to be largely ineffective at cutting down on device thefts.

Top Rated Comments

unplugme71 Avatar
98 months ago
This should be controlled by the carriers, not manufacturers. Here's 3 reasons why.

1) Carriers can control this for all existing phones. Manufacturers can't.

2) Unless hardware allows for emergency calls, this will be an issue if a phone is accidentally marked as stolen. Carriers still allow emergency calls to be made even if a device is blocked.

3) Manufacturers don't always keep a record of the current customer of that device. If I sell my phone, my carrier knows I no longer use it and someone else does.

and just for *****, here's one more...

4) Manufactures don't get paid again once the item is sold, carriers do. Their job is to ensure phones are properly tied into their network. Manufactures don't want the extra expense
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sputnikv Avatar
98 months ago
i hate how the tone of this suggests that it's apple's, google's and other phone manufacturer's responsibility to deal with theft. you can build safeguards in, but to pass the blame or even suggest that they're at fault is ludicrous
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleMark Avatar
98 months ago
Schneiderman calls for summit to end phone crime? Has he invited Batman, Spiderman and Superman to the meeting?

[Apologies in advance - could not resist and having an immature moment]
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Four oF NINE Avatar
98 months ago
What can realistically be done by the manufacturers?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
freelancing Avatar
98 months ago
how about a kill switch for the thieves

Seriously? How about a kill switch for jewelry? No other manufacturer is held to this type of standard. I think the free market should call for this for each manufacturer to handle this in its own clever way. Apple has been researching this for some time.

A permanent kill switch could accidentally be triggered or implemented, so I don't think this is the best way to handle it. Biometrics are probably the best way to do this... require a thumb scan each time the phone is turned on or perhaps after an hour of non-use. Thieves won't be able to access data. Then a way to report your IEMI # to authorities so that any calls (except 911) would be rejected at the tower, yet traced. Thieves will always come up with another way to defeat any system, but a biometric scan would be a tough one to beat.

The thieves will just be in the parts business instead of the whole phone business.

What we need is a kill switch that lets you electronically electrocute the person who stole your stuff. Less thieves = less theft. Just sayin'
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Maxkraft Avatar
98 months ago
Kill Switch?

Why would a kill switch stop thieves that are just going to reprogram the phones anyway. I mean it doesn't blow up the phone or anything.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...