Posted in: cell phone, cybercrime, Gadgets, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views
Ever lose a cellphone? Or have any of your company-issued phones been swiped from employees? Getting them back is, you likely know, a lost cause.
But New York’s senior senator Chuck Schumer thinks your carrier should do more than just suspend service when a phone’s been swiped.
Schumer wants carriers to disable the phone so it can never be used again.
Sound like a deterrent to theft?
He thinks it would be. The technology exists to do exactly what Schumer wants. And it’s used in other countries.
But most U.S. carriers don’t bother. They’re interested in your service, not your phone. And they likely wouldn’t mind selling you a new unit — at the high price of a new phone for an account that’s not eligible for an upgrade.
Schumer thinks that’s bogus. And with the theft statistics on cellphones showing a near-epidemic of phone theft, it’s probably a useful idea to take some steps to curb the problem.
In fact, 41% of all theft reports in New York City involve a cellphone. The savings in police time alone would be worth taking some kind of action to discourage the crime.
Most companies only disconnect a stolen phone’s SIM card, which protects a customer’s information but does nothing to prevent the stolen phone from being retooled and resold.
“Deactivate the phone so it is no longer valuable on the black market – like a car without a motor,” Schumer said as he held up an iPhone.
“Bricking” a cellphone would make the unit a whole lot less attractive to the folks who trade in stolen phones.
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