Wireless Industry Collaborates on Smartphone Anti-Theft Initiative


CTIA – The Wireless Association has announced a Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment. Smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers have been criticized in the past for not doing enough to prevent smartphone theft. Device manufacturers and operating system signatories to the commitment agree that new smartphone models manufactured after July 2015 for retail sale in the U.S. will offer a free baseline anti-theft tool that is preloaded or downloadable on wireless smartphones that provides the connected capability to: (1) remote wipe the authorized user’s data that is on the smartphone if it is lost or stolen; (2) render the smartphone inoperable to an unauthorized user, except in accordance with FCC rules for 911 emergency communications, and if available, emergency numbers programmed by the authorized user; (3) prevent reactivation without the authorized user’s permission  to the extent technologically feasible; and (4) reverse the inoperability if the smartphone is recovered by the authorized user and restore user data on the smartphone to the extent feasible. In addition, each network operator signatory commits to permit the availability and full usability of a baseline anti-theft tool to be preloaded or downloadable on smartphones as specified.

The following network operators, device manufacturers and operating system companies are participating in the voluntary commitment: Apple Inc.; Asurion; AT&T; Google Inc.; HTC America, Inc.; Huawei Device USA; Motorola Mobility LLC; Microsoft Corporation; Nokia, Inc.; Samsung Telecommunications America, L.P.; Sprint Corporation; T-Mobile USA; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless.

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