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City and State Officials to Launch Investigation of Anti-Theft Measures of Smartphone Makers

City and State Officials to Launch Investigation of Anti-Theft Measures of Smartphone Makers

The Huffington Post reports that law enforcement officials from several states and cities are joining to launch an investigation into why smartphone manufacturers haven’t been doing more to combat device thefts.

WWDC2013_iOS7_activation_lock

MacRumors:

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 plans to probe why smartphone makers haven’t created a so-called “kill switch” to render stolen devices inoperable. It’s believed that such a feature would lessen the value of stolen devices on the black market. Officials also plan to look into whether smartphone makers haven’t adopted such measures simply out of financial interests, as stolen devices lead to the purchase of a replacement.

Apple announced on Monday an anti-theft feature called “Activation Lock” in its upcoming iOS 7, which requires an Apple ID and password in order to disable Find my iPhone, or to reactivate a phone if it is wiped.

Both Schneiderman and Gascón say Activation Lock is an inadequate measure, as it requires customers to utilize both iCloud and the Find my iPhone app. Both will be meeting with representatives from Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft on Thursday to discuss possible solutions to the issue.

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