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US officials call on Apple, Google, others to help stop smartphone theft - Page 2

post #41 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

You're talking about getting the telecoms to agree to something that isn't price collusion.

 

Difficult doesn't even begin to describe it. lol.gif

well....since the legislators are involved...they could make them do this.....

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post #42 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

Exactly. Let people demand it of product makers or competitiors if there are changes that can be made that may help. We are talking about theft, after all. People need to protect themselves before a theft is committed.

But how does a product (phone) maker make a product that protects the owner before a theft is committed?

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post #43 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

But how does a product (phone) maker make a product that protects the owner before a theft is committed?

 

"...if there are changes that can be made..."

 

Perhaps there aren't any.

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post #44 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

"...if there are changes that can be made..."

 

Perhaps there aren't any.

you have a good point...if we demand a better product then it is up to the manufacturers to make it.....

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post #45 of 68
The likelyhood of a global stolen phone db is practically nil. The solution would have to be on the phone or they would still be stolen and exported. Even then there would probably be a market for some parts
post #46 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

well....since the legislators are involved...they could make them do this.....

 

Exactly.  It seems to me that the "kill switch" the legislators are asking for already exists.  They should instead look at who's in charge of the "start switch", ie. the phone service providers.

 

That, or increase the punishment for phone theft.

post #47 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisdomSeed View Post

So you may as well say, if you give people enough money, they will not commit crime. While that is true, it isn't feasable.

It isn't true either.
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post #48 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

But how does a product (phone) maker make a product that protects the owner before a theft is committed?

Load it with bullets.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #49 of 68
This problem is unique to GSM phones. CDMA phones have a built in ESN that gets blacklisted by the corresponding carrier and not allowed to be activated except by the true owner. Flashing it to another network while possible is extremely hard to do and there's very few people that do it, but even then those phones are stolen. I don't think there'll ever be a quick fix. For as long as people lose their phones, drop it in water, break the screen, etc... there will always be a market for stolen phones.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #50 of 68

This is just beyond silly.

The government asking Apple and Google to help it preventing criminals to steal their products ?? Because they are nowadays so retarded that they can't do their job properly and want multinationals to do something?

It's up the government, politicians and the justice system to prevent crimes and put criminals in jail!

It's not up to Apple nor Google or any other manufacturer, reseller or business.

These politicians are clearly on some heavy drugs and they need to be removed quickly.

post #51 of 68
I think the suggestions about not allowing the phone to be turned off and having a pass code for cold restart/settings are the most useful ideas. Don't let the thief prevent tracking and don't give them the opportunity to connect the phone and erase/restore it. That would kill most thefts and be easy to implement without stepping on anyone's rights.

Still surprised Apple has Find My Phone while Android doesn't (you need an App). Something that serious (tracking and/or locking a phone) are things that should be entrusted to Apple, Google, MS or BB, not some third party App developer.
post #52 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

Doesn't the kill switch technology already exist?  If someone steals my android phone I have an app that can remotely turn on GPS to locate the phone, can take pictures with the cameras, and can wipe my phone to protect my data.  I'd assume iOS and Windows Phone also has these same basic features.

 

What more do they want from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung?

Apparently they want something that will brick the phone into permanent unoperability, removing any value for a potential thief: and won't THAT be a fun target for the hacker community?

 

Remotely hacking and bricking every phone on a network. Talk about destroying the village to "save" it....

post #53 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Still surprised Apple has Find My Phone while Android doesn't (you need an App). Something that serious (tracking and/or locking a phone) are things that should be entrusted to Apple, Google, MS or BB, not some third party App developer.

 

Being a third party developer has no relation to being trustworthy.  A company like Avast (just one example) is very reliable and trustworthy.  One could argue that giving complete control of your phone to one entity is a worse option then diversification.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post

Apparently they want something that will brick the phone into permanent unoperability, removing any value for a potential thief: and won't THAT be a fun target for the hacker community?

 

Remotely hacking and bricking every phone on a network. Talk about destroying the village to "save" it....

 

I'm hoping the government isn't asking for remote bricking, but that thought did cross my mind as well.  I don't think any of the tech companies would go for that though.

post #54 of 68
Since when did phone theft become a "Major Crime"? You can't snort it, shoot it or drink it. And I haven't heard of anyone losing their life having one stolen, but I could be wrong.
post #55 of 68
Major crime because its sold to get drugs and then some.
post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowellJim44 View Post

Since when did phone theft become a "Major Crime"? You can't snort it, shoot it or drink it. And I haven't heard of anyone losing their life having one stolen, but I could be wrong.

No but many have gotten beat up pretty badly.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #57 of 68
I confess, drinking Super-sized soft drinks gets me hopped up and makes me want to steal smartphones.
post #58 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

Being a third party developer has no relation to being trustworthy.  A company like Avast (just one example) is very reliable and trustworthy.  One could argue that giving complete control of your phone to one entity is a worse option then diversification.

 

Sure it does. In order for a 3rd party to offer advanced features (like locking or bricking a phone) they need access to API's. If they can access them what's to stop someone from using this API in a regular App to screw a bunch of people over?

 

This type of functionality should not even be made available to developers.

post #59 of 68

I like the password to turn the phone off idea, after all, the idea is not to eliminate phone theft, just to lower and possibly mitigate it. It's like sest belts in automobiles, they didn't eliminate car crash deaths, but they do lower the number of deaths substantially. And while I agree with one poster who knew that getting the police to cooperate, a very important part of the equation is 'iffy' to say the least. But that is easily mitigated as well. If the police in these major urban areas refuse to retrieve the stolen phone. In many instances it would be considered a felony based on the retail value and so the police in those areas would be faced with either apprehending a found phone or replacing it. 

post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

 

Sure it does. In order for a 3rd party to offer advanced features (like locking or bricking a phone) they need access to API's. If they can access them what's to stop someone from using this API in a regular App to screw a bunch of people over?

 

This type of functionality should not even be made available to developers.

 

I still believe that, third party =/= not trustworthy.  We'll have to agree to disagree.  I think it's pretty safe to say that installing a "regular app" made by Sony, Autodesk, Adobe, BBC, Associated Press, etc. is not going to include a virus and they're not going to screw a bunch of people over by locking their phones.  That's separate from the fact that most (if not all) of the apps made by those developers aren't even capable of wiping a phone as they don't utilize that API.

 

Now, if an Android user goes to the Play Store and installs a calculator app that:

 

1) was uploaded recently (the rare malicious apps don't tend to last long in any mobile app store)

2) is made by "JohnSmithCoding" or some other no name developer

3) requests permissions that include locking your phone (RED FLAG! A calculator app doesn't need that level of access!)

4) the user ignores that huge red flag and installs it anyways

4) the app developer really did have malicious intent and remotely locks the persons phone

 

If something like that were to happen, I'll laugh at that person right along with you.

post #61 of 68
^ You still don't get it. This type of information should not be available to developers at all, regardless of whether they are Sony or other company (poor choice, BTW, considering Sony's history - remember the "malware" they installed on PC's).

Having this available to developers means that unscrupulous people can write their own test Apps and start trying to reverse engineer what's going on inside the device when various "find my phone" functions are executed. This is just one example.

Are you really trying to argue these features should be "open"? Or just upset at Androids lack of an important feature so you're trying to justify its absence?
post #62 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Load it with bullets.

i agree 100%...hollow points.....

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post #63 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

^ You still don't get it. This type of information should not be available to developers at all, regardless of whether they are Sony or other company (poor choice, BTW, considering Sony's history - remember the "malware" they installed on PC's).

Having this available to developers means that unscrupulous people can write their own test Apps and start trying to reverse engineer what's going on inside the device when various "find my phone" functions are executed. This is just one example.

Are you really trying to argue these features should be "open"? Or just upset at Androids lack of an important feature so you're trying to justify its absence?

 

I do understand your opinion, I was just answering the question you asked as it sounded like you weren't sure how Android can "stop someone from using this API in a regular App to screw a bunch of people over".  There are safeguards in place and apparently they're effective.  It's not like apps maliciously locking phones is a common (or even rare) occurence.

 

Now to argue which implementation is better, that would be rather off-topic and not worthwhile as I can see pros and cons to both.  If you feel one is strictly superior to the other then you are certainly entitled to that opinion.

 

My initial point was only that just because a developer is third party doesn't mean they automatically can't be trusted.  It appears that we may disagree in that regards too, but I can live with that.


Edited by DroidFTW - 6/5/13 at 7:44pm
post #64 of 68

The primary disincentive for this is economic, not technical.  There are technical solutions (though admittedly not always 100% complete) that would help to ameliorate the situation greatly.  The issue is that there is no incentive for the carriers and the manufacturers to do anything, and there are a number of powerful disincentives:

 

  1. It will cost them money to implement and maintain such a system, with no upside gain for them.
  2. Because every stolen iPhone winds up activated as a new line of service on some carrier's network (often the very same network), carriers don't have an incentive to help prevent theft, because ultimately each theft equals profit for them.
  3. Because stolen phones represent replacement purchases for manufacturers (again, often the same manufacturer), the manufacturers have no upside in strongly acting to deter the thefts.

 

This issue revolves primarily around money, not technology.

post #65 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

and activate it how? The carrier has a list of IMEI numbers and what device it belongs to....

1. Phone reported stolen...by phone or online in carriers website account settings

2. The IMEI number is then listed as stolen and not allowed to be authenticated on to the carriers network.

3. All carries have to be onboard with not activating stolen IMEI numbers. Can't just flash it to another carrier.

 

In Australia our IMEI blocked phones appear to work normally, until you go to make a call then the phone diverts to a message telling you to contact your carrier, there is also a Government website where IMEI numbers can be checked.

 

The rightful owner retains the right to reactivate the phone via the carrier if it is recovered.

 

A "killswitch" would have to be able to be overridden in this circumstance but that leaves a back door for hackers.

.

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post #66 of 68
Today's revelations add new color to these "requests" to solve smartphone thefts... It makes it harder for the NSA to track and extract valuable data from all those stolen devices! They don't know who is who anymore!

Here's a new business idea, similar to the new bike sharing program in New York... Phone sharing!

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post #67 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The people promoting this know damn well it will have zero impact on crime.

 

I don't agree. I think making stolen phones useless will have an affect on crime. The reason I think so is the success immobilizers have had reducing car theft. In our jurisdiction the number of vehicle thefts has dropped in each of the last few years, as each year a larger percentage of vehicles have theft deterrent technology built in.

post #68 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziadjk View Post

Besides, what happens if a person steals a phone and gives it to a friend or relative? Do the friends and relatives get in trouble?
If not, what happens if I myself steal a phone and say it was given to me by someone else?

 

How would those situations be any different at all with a technological theft-deterrent system than it is now without one? Either way it's possession of stolen property, period. That's the way it is now, and nothing would change as a result of implementing a bricking system, so what's your point here?

 

The difference is that you wouldn't bother stealing it in the first place if you knew neither you nor anyone else could use it.

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