NYT article accuses Apple of not doing enough to prevent iPhone thefts

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers could be doing a lot more to counteract iPhone and other mobile device thefts, security experts and industry observers say in a New York Times report that singles out Apple.

NYPD
NYPD sign up customers for antitheft measures at Apple's Fifth Ave store. Photo via Gothamist.


As iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices increase in popularity, so too is the crime rate involving such devices on the rise. In San Francisco, where a stolen iPhone 5 can sell for as much as $500, nearly half of all robberies last year involved a cellphone, according to The New York Times, which profiled the trends Thursday in an article with a headline that accused the mobile industry of looking "the other way."

Late last year, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pointed to iPhone thefts as the single driver of an overall crime increase in the city. Without Apple product thefts, crime would have been down overall for 2012.

With phone theft increasingly common, some police representatives and security experts are calling on the nation's wireless carriers and smartphone manufacturers to implement measures that will make it harder for thieves to profit from their crimes.

"Unlike other types of crimes, this is a crime that could easily be fixed with a technological solution," George Gasc?n, San Francisco's district attorney, told the Times. Gasc?n said manufacturers like Apple should be exploring technologies that would help fight cellphone theft. He has met with Apple before to discuss antitheft technology, but received no indication from Apple that it was interested in boosting such efforts.

Currently, a number of antitheft technologies exist, allowing mobile device owners to track stolen smartphones and tablets. Early last year, AT&T rolled out a new system that blocked stolen iPhones from network access. Also, Apple's Find My Phone feature uses iCloud to track stolen iOS devices, which has resulted in some notable busts.

Those efforts, though, are incomplete, critics say. Thieves are able to hack phones' International Mobile Station Equipment Identities in order to erase all data on the phone, rendering it unidentifiable to databases that track stolen phones. Some commentators believe cellphone makers should devise their devices to become inoperable should such a reset occur. Privacy advocates, though, say that consumers should be able to reset their devices as they wish if they want to avoid tracking.

Apple has been working with police recently to track down mobile device thieves, using the devices IMEI numbers to track their current locations and informing police where they should go.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 152
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,627member
    Honda not doing enough to prevent auto thefts.

    So what? Suddenly it's Apple's problem that people don't take a moment to think twice before flashing a pricey product in public and getting it stolen?

    Guess the NYT needed to get the click-quota and decided an Apple article would be the way to go.
  • Reply 2 of 152
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    too much risk of fraud that would result in a huge expense of people having to listen to sob stories and make a decision and others crying to blogs about how apple screwed them
  • Reply 3 of 152
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,101member
    A stolen iPhone goes for $500? How much for a stolen Galaxy S3?
  • Reply 4 of 152
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post



    Honda not doing enough to prevent auto thefts.



    So what? Suddenly it's Apple's problem that people don't take a moment to think twice before flashing a pricey product in public and getting it stolen?



    Guess the NYT needed to get the click-quota and decided an Apple article would be the way to go.


    What the hell are you talking about?


     


    People can show what they want, it's not their fault. Those f*cking animals that rube people are the ones with 100% fault. All of them should be murdered. End.

  • Reply 5 of 152
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,167member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post



    Honda not doing enough to prevent auto thefts.



    So what? Suddenly it's Apple's problem that people don't take a moment to think twice before flashing a pricey product in public and getting it stolen?



    Guess the NYT needed to get the click-quota and decided an Apple article would be the way to go.


    Car companies are doing a lot. Educate yourself. (Also, read the NYT article). Moreover, taking out an iPhone to make a call or watch a video or listen to a song or surf the web is not "flashing a pricey product in public." Do you use yours only in private?


     


    Apple has dropped the ball on this. That is simply a fact. Don't get so defensive.

  • Reply 6 of 152
    rob bonnerrob bonner Posts: 230member
    I disagree with this assumption, just because someone makes a profit that they have to take all of this into consideration.

    Just yesterday I was flying a kite, and it got stuck in a tree. Where are the articles that the kite folks should be doing something about this, they make a profit also.
  • Reply 7 of 152
    dgnr8dgnr8 Posts: 196member


    Most thefts = Lack Personal Responsibility


     


    Flame On

  • Reply 8 of 152
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,886member


    I think every iPhone should come with a personal body guard... /sarcasm

  • Reply 9 of 152
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,886member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Car companies are doing a lot. Educate yourself. (Also, read the NYT article). Moreover, taking out an iPhone to make a call or watch a video or listen to a song or surf the web is not "flashing a pricey product in public." Do you use yours only in private?


     


    Apple has dropped the ball on this. That is simply a fact. Don't get so defensive.



     


    So what could they be doing better?

  • Reply 10 of 152
    freshmakerfreshmaker Posts: 517member


    There you go, let's blame Apple.  Ugh.  image

  • Reply 11 of 152
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    What is up with NYT and Apple? Have they looked into Samsung's factories, their tax practices, their anti theft features?
  • Reply 12 of 152
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Apple has been a leader in lost/stolen-phone tracking for years. They make it quite easy. Could they do more as well? Sure. Single them out? Well, yes, for NYT ad-views :)

    Now, the carriers need to be able to permanently disable phones. That's a decade overdue. It's OK to have a way to get around tracking, but there shouldn't be away to get around [I]disabling[/I] unless you have proof of payment/ownership. (Which would then be an important part of buying a used phone--assurance that it's not stolen. Maybe the original purchaser has to notify the carrier of the new owner.) And of course the carriers have to work together on this.

    I doubt Apple would be the one blocking such an improvement.
  • Reply 13 of 152
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post


    What the hell are you talking about?


     


    People can show what they want, it's not their fault. Those f*cking animals that rube people are the ones with 100% fault. All of them should be murdered. End.



    Jeez... anger issues dude?

  • Reply 14 of 152
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 721member


    If the phone companies and carriers could work together, more could be done, but it's not like Apple has done nothing. I think Find My iPhone is pretty amazing, and if they incorporate fingerprint recognition that will be great too. I expect this to be one area in which they continue to innovate.


     


    I don't think the New York Times is really doing enough to prevent iPhone thefts, either. They could add an area to their website where people could register their cellphones, and carriers could access that DB when they get a request for a device activation. I guess they don't see that as their responsibility (or a viable revenue source) any more than anybody else does.

  • Reply 15 of 152
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

    What is up with NYT and Apple? Have they looked into Samsung's factories, their tax practices, their anti theft features?


     


    NYT: Yep.


     


    "… and?"



    NYT: Oh, sorry, I couldn't hear you. I was busy flipping through these stacks of money we recently received.

  • Reply 16 of 152
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member

    Quote:


    Without Apple product thefts, crime would have been down overall for 2012.



     


    Wrong. If all Apple products would cease to exist tomorrow, career criminals wouldn't throw in the towel. They'd find something else.

  • Reply 17 of 152
    teejay2012teejay2012 Posts: 275member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Car companies are doing a lot. Educate yourself. (Also, read the NYT article). Moreover, taking out an iPhone to make a call or watch a video or listen to a song or surf the web is not "flashing a pricey product in public." Do you use yours only in private?


     


    Apple has dropped the ball on this. That is simply a fact. Don't get so defensive.





    "Apple has dropped the ball on this"


     


    What rubbish. It's called personal responsibility. I suppose that ALL manufacturers need to step up and prevent thefts... watches, jewellery, TVs, cars.. /s  Carriers and telcos could prevent activation of stolen phones by registering all IMEI numbers and blocking ones reported stolen or hacked numbers. But they don't - you figure out why.



     


    As far as Apple dropping the ball, stop trolling and go back to your Samsung shift.


     


     


  • Reply 18 of 152
    scott523scott523 Posts: 34member
    Apple has done their part to prevent thefts. It's the consumers that need to do their part.

    However, I wished there was a way not to allow a thief to turn off the iDevice by holding the sleep button.
  • Reply 19 of 152
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Car companies are doing a lot. Educate yourself. (Also, read the NYT article). Moreover, taking out an iPhone to make a call or watch a video or listen to a song or surf the web is not "flashing a pricey product in public." Do you use yours only in private?


     


    Apple has dropped the ball on this. That is simply a fact. Don't get so defensive.





    But has Apple dropped the ball harder than Google, Samsung or Nokia? The article mentions Apple a few times, Google once but nary a word about Samsung.

  • Reply 20 of 152
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by DGNR8 View Post

    Most thefts = Lack Personal Responsibility


     


    Flame On



     


    Why? It couldn't be more correct.

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