FCC/TAC Releases Mobile Device Theft Prevention Report; Seeks Input

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The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Technological Advisory Council Subcommittee on Mobile Device Theft Prevention has released its report regarding the incidence and characteristics of mobile wireless device theft in the U.S. The report also includes recommendations to the Commission, industry and law enforcement for next steps to reduce mobile wireless device theft. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Making “lock/wipe/restore” functionality operational by default on all mobile wireless devices.
  • Enhancing protection of unique mobile wireless device identifiers (International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) or Mobile Equipment Identity (MEID) numbers or perhaps a new identifier to be developed) from alteration.
  • Improving the timeliness, accuracy, and availability of data about mobile wireless device theft for use by law enforcement.

The Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) and Consume and Governmental Affairs and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus seek input on these recommendations. In addition, OET and the Bureaus seek comment on steps that would need to be taken by service providers, retailers, resellers and other members of the mobile wireless communications sector to ensure that mobile wireless devices that are placed into service on networks in the United States have not been listed as lost or stolen on relevant databases. Comments are due January 30, 2015, and reply comments are due February 17, 2015.

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