Formerly critical of Apple, officials now cautiously optimistic with iOS 7 anti-theft features

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Once vocal critics of Apple's efforts to prevent mobile device theft, the Attorneys General of San Francisco and New York are now a bit more optimistic in the wake of the iPhone maker's unveiling of new a new anti-theft mechanism.

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco Attorney General George Gascon have made headlines over the past several months calling out Apple and other smartphone industry players for not doing enough to deter the theft of mobile devices. Now, though, the two have said they're encouraged by the new Activation Lock Apple will add to iPhones and iPads with the new iOS 7.

"We are appreciative of the gesture made by Apple to address smartphone theft," the two prosecutors told the Associated Press in a joint written statement. "We reserve judgment on the activation lock feature until we can understand its actual functionality."

Nearly one out of every three robberies nationwide involves a mobile phone, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Smartphone manufacturers, the two prosecutors say, could virtually eliminate the market for stolen phones by building in the ability to render the devices useless when stolen.

Apple appears to have developed just such a technology, if the company's WWDC claims are to be believed. The new Activation Lock feature, according to Apple, will keep a phone from being activated even if a thief wipes the device's memory entirely. Additionally, iPhones and iPads have a Find My iPhone feature that will display the device's approximate location on a map.

Gasc?n and Schneiderman have invited Apple and other smartphone makers to attend a Smartphone Summit this week in New York, where attendees will discuss ways to prevent smartphone theft. Representatives from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung have agreed to attend the meeting, which will take place on Friday. Gasc?n says the ball is entirely in the smartphone makers' court when it comes to stopping mobile device theft.

"With 1.6 million Americans falling victim to smartphone theft in 2012, this has become a national epidemic," said Gascon. "Unlike other types of crimes, smartphone theft can be eradicated with a simple technological solution.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,437member
    Wondering if the phone has to be on when put into lost mode. A friend was <2 minutes by car to recovering hers and it went offline never to be seen online on Find my iPhone again.

    Reckon if the phone is thought to be lost, putting it in lost mode will be an immediate first step.

    edit: removed article typo ask.
  • Reply 2 of 53
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Screw them. Just screw them. What do they matter?


     


    It is Apple's fault that people want to steal their products. No, it is; they're desirable products.


    It's not Apple's fault that people steal their products, and it's not Apple's job to catch said people. 


     


    These police forces need to shut up and do their jobs.

  • Reply 3 of 53
    tarfungotarfungo Posts: 92member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Once vocal critics of Apple's efforts to prevent mobile device theft, the Attorneys General of San Francisco and New York are now a bit more optimistic in the wake of the iPhone maker's unveiling of new a new anti-theft mechanism.


     


    So glad that Apple was able to help the Police prevent crimes.  That will leave more time for the Police to setup speed traps and visit their local Starbucks cafes for lattes.

  • Reply 4 of 53
    This will be a pretty cool feature as long as there is absolutely no way to disable it even if the iPhone has been jailbroken. I feel like this should also have a hidden receipt feature as well. For instance the only way to turn this off is if you willingly type in your credentials to disable it and the iPhone keeps a record of that in the cloud somewhere so that when people go to complain, Apple can show proof that it was knowingly and willingly disabled by the user.
  • Reply 5 of 53
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by RedRaider2011 View Post

    This will be a pretty cool feature as long as there is absolutely no way to disable it even if the iPhone has been jailbroken.


     


    Jailbroken users put their security in their own hands. Apple couldn't care less about them.

  • Reply 6 of 53
    512ke512ke Posts: 781member


    I just don't understand why the police don't hold the manufacturers of other products responsible for theft.  What about bicycle manufacturers?  What are they doing to prevent bicycles from being stolen?  And how about cars?  Why don't they all come with factory installed methods for tracking hte vehicles and shutting off their motors permanently if they get stolen?  What about blenders?  Why do household blenders not come with built-in anti-theft protection.  Police should be highly critical of all blender makers.


     


    Dude, it's up to the owner to safeguard their sh*t.  We should be thankful that Apple is making it harder to sell iPhones -- cause the makers of watches, TV's, cars, appliances, etc don't even worry about it, and no one complains.


     


    Or do we just need ANOTHER reason to hold Apple to a completely different standard than every other company on the planet, when it comes to security, profits, margins, innovation and every other metric one can possibly think of?

  • Reply 7 of 53
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,575member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post



    "Formely critical of Apple" = "Formerly critical of Apple" ?



    Wondering if the phone has to be on when put into lost mode. A friend was <2 minutes by car to recovering hers and it went offline never to be seen online on Find my iPhone again.



    Reckon if the phone is thought to be lost, putting it in lost mode will be an immediate first step.


     


    I would think the first thing one would want to do would be to put the device in 'lost mode'.

  • Reply 8 of 53
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,437member
    I would think the first thing one would want to do would be to put the device in 'lost mode'.

    Yep - hope word gets around quick after the Fall launch. I wonder what the mean ransom per iDevice will be since the accidental criminals will now be able to negotiate the return of the device. Oh, I meant reward.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,575member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post





    Yep - hope word gets around quick after the Fall launch. I wonder what the mean ransom per iDevice will be since the accidental criminals will now be able to negotiate the return of the device. Oh, I meant reward.


     


    The thing that worries me about the increased level of security:  Criminals will quickly learn the devices are worthless without the passwords so they will be more likely to demand (possibly with violence) the password from the owner before they leave with the stolen device. Actions can lead to unforeseen reactions.


     


    That being said, I understand that Apple more or less had to do something to appease their critics.

  • Reply 10 of 53
    gordiogordio Posts: 69member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post



    "Formely critical of Apple" = "Formerly critical of Apple" ?



    Wondering if the phone has to be on when put into lost mode. A friend was <2 minutes by car to recovering hers and it went offline never to be seen online on Find my iPhone again.



    Reckon if the phone is thought to be lost, putting it in lost mode will be an immediate first step.


     


    Even if you don't put it in lost mode, the phone cannot be used, even if reformatted, if you do not enter the correct owner icloud name and password.

  • Reply 11 of 53


    What about selling the iPhone? Is it enough to remove it from your registered devices in iTunes?

  • Reply 12 of 53
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Screw them. Just screw them. What do they matter?


     


    It is Apple's fault that people want to steal their products. No, it is; they're desirable products.


    It's not Apple's fault that people steal their products, and it's not Apple's job to catch said people. 


     


    These police forces need to shut up and do their jobs.



    Pretty ungracious of the AGs to say: "We are appreciative of the gesture made by Apple to address smartphone theft," the two prosecutors told the Associated Press in a joint written statement. "We reserve judgment on the activation lock feature until we can understand its actual functionality."


     


    To which I should comment to their statement: shouldn't they have said "We are appreciative of the effort made by Apple . . ."


    Stamping "please don't steal me" on each iPhone sold in big cities would be a gesture.


     


    I think what Apple has done is certainly more than a gesture. What else do these quacks expect Apple to do? Provide individual guards with each iPhone?


     


    Meh.


  • Reply 13 of 53
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,629member
    Surprised they didn't take credit, like most politicians do.
  • Reply 14 of 53
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,563member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Once vocal critics of Apple's efforts to prevent mobile device theft, the Attorneys General of San Francisco and New York are now a bit more optimistic in the wake of the iPhone maker's unveiling of new a new anti-theft mechanism. ...

    ... New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco Attorney General George Gascon ...


     


    George Gascon is actually the San Francisco District Attorney. The last I checked, San Francisco didn't have an Attorney General, not being a state in its own right.

  • Reply 15 of 53
    gonevwgonevw Posts: 45member
    but ebay will still let it be sold online as parts. This means nothing and you will still never get it back.
  • Reply 16 of 53
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,575member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gonevw View Post



    but ebay will still let it be sold online as parts. This means nothing and you will still never get it back.


     


    The solution is to get insurance for your products.

  • Reply 17 of 53
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    Jailbroken users put their security in their own hands. Apple couldn't care less about them.

    He meant that it needs to remain locked even if the thief jailbreaks it.
  • Reply 18 of 53
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,437member
    gordio wrote: »
    Even if you don't put it in lost mode, the phone cannot be used, even if reformatted, if you do not enter the correct owner icloud name and password.

    a. Lose iPhone
    b. Loser Finds iPhone.
    c. Loser Powers off iPhone
    d. Loser Yanks SIM from iPhone
    e. Loser powers iPhone up in DFU mode.
    f. Loser uses iTunes to restore.
    e. Loser drops own SIM in and voila!

    If the iPhone was not put into Lost Mode prior to step c, will step e be impossible? I've done a - f (on my 5).
  • Reply 19 of 53
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post

    He meant that it needs to remain locked even if the thief jailbreaks it.


     


    They can't restore it in the first place; obviously they can't jailbreak it.

  • Reply 20 of 53
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    christophb wrote: »
    a. Lose iPhone
    b. Loser Finds iPhone.
    c. Loser Powers off iPhone
    d. Loser Yanks SIM from iPhone
    e. Loser powers iPhone up in DFU mode.
    f. Loser uses iTunes to restore.
    e. Loser drops own SIM in and voila!

    If the iPhone was not put into Lost Mode prior to step c, will step e be impossible? I've done a - f (on my 5).

    He cannot activate it without Internet. When he tries to activate it it will not activate without the proper Apple ID. So it is will not work unless there is a way to hack the activation. I believe even after he activate it if the owner reported it as stolen the device will lock and require Apple ID and password of the original owner.
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