iOS 7's Activation Lock Feature Helping Reduce iPhone Theft in Three Major Cities

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today that Apple's Activation Lock feature in iOS 7 has led to a "significant" reduction of iPhone-related theft in New York, London, and San Francisco, reports The New York Times.

ios7_activation_lock
Measuring crime after Apple introduced Activation Lock alongside iOS 7 last Fall, police officers in San Francisco said that iPhone robberies in the city fell 38 percent, with London experiencing a 24 percent drop. Meanwhile, the New York Police Department said that iPhone robberies dropped 19 percent, while grand larcenies including the device dropped 29 percent in the first five months of 2014 compared to the same time period last year.

“The introduction of kill switches has clearly had an effect on the conduct of smartphone thieves,” Mr. Schneiderman said in an interview. “If these can be canceled like the equivalent of canceling a credit card, these are going to be the equivalent of stealing a paperweight.”

Apple's Activation Lock feature, which prevents stolen phones from being reactivated without an iCloud password, has received praise from various groups since its inclusion in iOS 7. Schneiderman, along with San Francisco attorney George Gascón, spearheaded smartphone anti-theft efforts last year and called Apple's Activation Lock the "world's first attempt to implement a technological solution to the global smartphone theft epidemic."

Apple also entered a voluntary agreement with a number of other smartphone makers in April to include anti-theft technology on all smartphones going on sale after July 2015. Under that agreement, every phone sold would have capabilities allowing users to remotely wipe data and to prevent reactivation without the owner's permission. It is likely that Apple's Activation Lock and Find My iPhone features already satisfy the requirements of the agreement.

Top Rated Comments

fallenjt Avatar
108 months ago
I wish iOS had an option to enter the passcode to turn off the phone. Now, thieves can't turn off the device and just wait for "Find My iPhone" to track them down.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FrozenDarkness Avatar
108 months ago
I wish iOS had an option to enter the passcode to turn off the phone. Now, thieves can't turn off the device and just wait for "Find My iPhone" to track them down.

that's actually pretty smart. amazing.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BvizioN Avatar
108 months ago
I wish iOS had an option to enter the passcode to turn off the phone. Now, thieves can't turn off the device and just wait for "Find My iPhone" to track them down.
that's actually pretty smart. amazing.
Pointless, if thieves are still able to remove the sim card!!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Daveoc64 Avatar
108 months ago
I wish iOS had an option to enter the passcode to turn off the phone. Now, thieves can't turn off the device and just wait for "Find My iPhone" to track them down.

Or they could use Control Center to turn Airplane Mode on from the lock screen.

That would actually be really smart considering you can't take out the battery. Atleast, not relatively easily...might submit this idea to Apple.

that's actually pretty smart. amazing.

It's not all that smart (it's been thought of many times before and dismissed for a range of reasons) and it would almost certainly be illegal in some places. For safety reasons, you need to be able to turn off a device which contains radios without requiring a password.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fzang Avatar
108 months ago
The thieves will just toss it in water.

...Which would kind of invalidate the point in stealing a phone? Might as well just grab it out of people's hand and smash it to the ground, on the street.

Or the thieves could just hide it in metal/concrete that would block all signal or, if your phone is on AT&T's network, the thieves would just kick back and laugh.

This is great, but what ever happened with those hackers who claimed they could unlock iPhones locked by Activation Lock and that they were unlocking thousands of stolen devices?

These people almost deserved to have their phones hacked though.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
moldy lunchbox Avatar
108 months ago
I wish iOS had an option to enter the passcode to turn off the phone. Now, thieves can't turn off the device and just wait for "Find My iPhone" to track them down.

That would actually be really smart considering you can't take out the battery. Atleast, not relatively easily...might submit this idea to Apple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
maxresdefault

Apple Responds to Video Testing Crash Detection Feature With Junkyard Vehicles

Friday September 30, 2022 9:11 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently traveled to Michigan to test Apple's new crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. In response, Apple provided some additional information about how the feature works. Stern recruited Michael Barabe to crash his demolition derby car with a heavy-duty steel frame into two unoccupied vehicles parked in a junkyard — a 2003...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
Hero0005

Best Apple Deals of the Week: M2 MacBook Air Hits New All-Time Low Price at $1,049, Plus Sales on AirPods Pro and More

Friday September 30, 2022 9:05 am PDT by
This week's best Apple deals focus on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and M2 MacBook Air, including numerous all-time low prices on these devices. You'll also find up to 50 percent off discounts on Anker and Eufy accessories on Amazon. 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...
zuckerberg metaverse

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I'm Not Really Sure the Average Person Can Tell You What the Metaverse Is'

Friday September 30, 2022 12:51 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been touring Europe this week, sitting down for interviews with various media publications. Augmented reality has been a running theme in Cook's discussions, and it is a topic he brought up again in an interview with Dutch publication Bright, which is part of RTL News. "I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything," Cook said, echoing comments from...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...