September 23, 2014

Big four carriers partner to fight smartphone theft

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The top four wireless carriers in the United States have come together over a singular, growing issue: smartphone theft.  Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile USA are teaming up with the FCC to create a national database of stolen smartphones which should be in place over the next six months.  Together these four providers account for 90 percent of the U.S. mobile base and each will be able to help disable devices once officially reported as stolen.

The plan is to merge the carriers databases into one national database within 18 months and make it even harder to activate a device on another carrier.  The partnership will be endorsed by the CTIA and will focus on educating consumers on the proper steps to secure and protect their smartphone.  There will be four voluntary industry commitments in place which address the issue of stolen smartphones.

1. Implement databases to prevent reactivation of stolen smartphones.
2A. Notify consumers of features to secure/lock smartphones with passwords.
2B. Educate consumers about features to secure/lock smartphones with passwords.
3. Educate consumers about applications to remotely lock/locate/erase data from smartphones.
4. Educate consumers about smartphone theft, protections and preventative measures.

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