U.S. Wireless Industry Announces Steps to Deter Smartphone Thefts

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — CTIA-The Wireless Association®, together with participating wireless companies, today announced they worked with the federal government and law enforcement to develop four steps to help deter smartphone thefts and protect consumer data. These four voluntary industry commitments by CTIA and our participating members will effectively address this issue while continuing to evolve as new wireless products and services become available.

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The four steps are:

1. Implement databases to prevent reactivation of stolen smartphones. Wireless providers will work to initiate, implement and deploy database solutions, using unique smartphone identifying numbers, designed to prevent smartphones reported by their customers as stolen from being activated and/or provided service on their own networks. This database will be completed by November 30, 2013.

2(A). Notify consumers of features to secure/lock smartphones with passwords. By April 30, 2013, smartphone makers will implement a system to notify/inform users via the new smartphones upon activation or soon after of its capability of being locked and secured from unauthorized access by setting a password.

2(B). Educate consumers about features to secure/lock smartphones with passwords. By December 31, 2012, smartphone makers will include information on how to secure/lock new smartphones in-box and/or through online “Quick Start” or user guides.

3. Educate consumers about applications to remotely lock/locate/erase data from smartphones. Wireless providers will inform consumers, using communications including email or text messages, about the existence of – and access to – applications that can lock/locate/erase data from smartphones. It will be completed by April 30, 2013.

4. Educate consumers about smartphone theft, protections and preventative measures. By July 1, 2012, the wireless industry will launch an education campaign for consumers on the safe use of smartphones and highlight the solutions one through three by using a range of resources, including a public service announcement and online tools such as websites and social media.

For more information, please visit: www.ctia.org

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