State and City Officials to Investigate Anti-Theft Practices of Cellphone Makers Following Summit

iphone_5_black_whiteSeveral state and city law enforcement officials are teaming up to launch an investigation on why smartphone manufacturers including Apple have not done more to combat device thefts, reports the Huffington Post.

The investigation will be conducted by attorneys general in six different states along with district attorneys and police officials from eight additional cities. Included in the group are New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who previously called for a summit with several smartphone manufacturers to discuss device theft and San Francisco district attorney George Gascón, who has been pushing for a "kill switch" that would permanently disable stolen iOS devices

The group intends to probe why Apple and other smartphone makers have failed to create a so-called “kill switch” that would render their devices inoperable if stolen – a feature that could undercut the value of stolen gadgets now trading on a global black market. The officials also plan to investigate whether smartphone manufacturers have not adopted effective anti-theft measures out of simple financial interest – a stolen phone generates new business as crime victims buy replacements.

On Monday, Apple announced anti-theft plans for an "Activation Lock" feature in iOS 7, which is designed to require an Apple ID and a password to disable Find My iPhone or to reactivate a phone if it is wiped.

Though the implementation of the Activation Lock will likely cut down on thefts, Schneiderman and Gascón believe that it is ultimately inadequate as a kill switch because it requires customers to utilize both iCloud and the Find My iPhone app.

Gascón and Schneiderman will be meeting with representatives from Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft on Thursday to discuss a possible solution, as part of the aforementioned summit. If the companies fail to come to a suitable agreement with officials, a source close to Schneiderman believes that a lawsuit may be considered in the future.

Top Rated Comments

lostngone Avatar
126 months ago
We always have to blame the other guy. Unless the phone explodes you are still going to have after market phone chop shops for the parts.

This isn't a manufacturer issue. How about you go after the criminals?!?!
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
512ke Avatar
126 months ago
I kind of get government's reaction to the very real problem of phone theft, but at the same time, is it really the manufacturer's problem if your stuff gets stolen?

Why single out phones? Will cars also be demanded to require kill switches? What about smart watches? Or regular watches? Or MacBook Airs?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
126 months ago
Are we able to implement a kill switch on lawyers?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
126 months ago
What a bunch of whiners. Don't they have anything better to do?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LachlanH Avatar
126 months ago
How is it the fault of the phone carriers/makers that phone thefts are high? Sure it's nice when they do implement anti-theft technologies but at no point should they be 'investigated' for not doing so.

Why not investigate car manufactures for making cars that can potentially do double or even triple the speed limit? It's clearly their fault so many people get charged with speeding wasting police time right?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisA Avatar
126 months ago
What a bunch of whiners. Don't they have anything better to do?

They were all elected to reduce crime. iPhone theft are one of the fastest raising crimes. Forcing some kind of anti-theft device is what they were elected to do.

The cell phone makers really do NOT want this because they make money from theft when someone has to replace a phone.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
magsafe duo perspective feature

Apple Releases New MagSafe Duo Firmware

Tuesday February 7, 2023 12:41 pm PST by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Duo charger that is designed to work with the Apple Watch and MagSafe-compatible iPhone models. The new firmware is version 10M3063, but in the settings app, you'll see a 256.1067.0 version number, up from 186.0.0.0. The MagSafe Duo was first released in 2020 alongside the iPhone 12 models, and it has not had a firmware update before....
oneplus 11 3

Camera Comparison: Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. OnePlus 11 5G

Tuesday February 7, 2023 10:11 am PST by
Chinese smartphone company OnePlus today announced the official debut of the OnePlus 11 5G, which is the company's latest flagship smartphone. The device was already announced in China, but today marks the global launch so we thought we'd compare the OnePlus 11 5G to the iPhone 14 Pro Max to see how the camera measures up. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple's...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Orange

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 Software Updates

Monday February 6, 2023 10:13 am PST by
Apple today released new tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 software updates, with the software coming two weeks after the tvOS 16.3 and HomePod 16.3 updates were released. According to Apple's release notes for HomePod software 16.3.1, the update includes general performance and stability improvements. Notes for tvOS 16.3.1 are unavailable as of yet, but are probably similar to the HomePod...
iPhone 15 Pro Blue Feature

iPhone 15 Pro 'Buttonless Design' Rumors: Everything We Know

Monday February 6, 2023 7:44 am PST by
The iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a "buttonless design" thanks to additional Taptic Engines, according to multiple corroborated reports, so what do we know about the change so far? Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report that the volume and power buttons on this year's two high-end iPhone models will adopt a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7's home button, replacing a...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
iphone ultra concept daehnert

'iPhone Ultra' Concept Envisions Apple's Rumored Future Top-Tier Smartphone

Tuesday February 7, 2023 5:38 am PST by
Apple has reportedly considered releasing a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside future Pro and Pro Max models, tentatively referred to as "iPhone Ultra," and one designer has taken it upon himself to envision what such a device could potentially look like. German industrial designer Jonas Daehnert came up with this impressive-looking concept (pictured) by marrying design elements of the...
Apple iPad 10th gen Magic Keyboard Folio Apple Pencil Feature Blue

Apple Could Break an iPad Tradition This Year

Wednesday February 8, 2023 3:13 am PST by
Apple usually releases a new entry-level iPad every year, but the current lineup and rumors for 2023 may indicate that this will be the first year when the company breaks this convention. When Apple introduced the 10th-generation iPad last year, it added the device to the lineup above the ninth-generation model from 2021. As a result, Apple currently sells both the ninth- and 10th-generation ...