During 2012, 16,000 Apple devices were stolen in New York , 14% of all crimes recorded in the Big Apple. We wish we could say that iOS 7 and the new activation lock feature have worked their magic, but the reality is that according to data updated up to last week, 45% of the thefts are still involving smartphones, at least half of which are iPhone .
The problem is not that the Search My iPhone activation block doesn’t work (which it does), but that there are still many users who don’t meet one of these three requirements for the “invention” to do its job: upgrading to iOS 7, registering for iCloud, and enabling the Search My iPhone (iCloud Settings) option.
Both San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and his New York counterpart, Eric Schneiderman, have repeatedly praised Apple’s system, referring to it as “the world’s first attempt to implement a technological solution to the global epidemic of smartphone theft” but as long as users don’t wake up, the risk will remain there for everyone.
This is why New Yorkers continue to seek measures to curb a situation that has law enforcement officers overwhelmed. First, through a bill that would require pawnshops to keep a record of electronic items passing through their hands with photographs and serial numbers just as they are required to do with other types of merchandise. And second, by prohibiting the sale of used smartphones without proof of ownership.
The Samsung Activation Block… blocked
Another surprising fact is that Samsung has hit a wall when trying to include a service similar to Apple’s in their phones (surprise, surprise). No, the lawyers on the block have nothing to do with it but blame the mobile operators, who are hiding behind a “kill switch” (a switch to deactivate the phones remotely) that would offer hackers a possible opportunity to disrupt their customers by refusing to install this type of software on their phones.
Of course, the real reason is different: operators fear that a theft-proof system will reduce the insurance benefits that many customers take out to cover the loss or theft of their phones.
Gascón is even evaluating taking action against the operators to force them to “prioritize the security of their customers over the extra money in their pockets” , a problem that fortunately we iPhone users do not have to face thanks to Apple’s determination that the operators do not stick their paws even slightly into the iPhone and its operating system.
And the story of the day
It’s not new, but you probably don’t know the crazy (though real) news about the New York thief who lost an iPhone to a second thief and couldn’t think of anything else but calling the police and ended up getting arrested.
MacRumors y Loop Insight
It was the iPhone 4S of a 16-year-old girl who had been robbed by the first thief in the middle of Prospect Park while listening to music quietly. The boy ran away with two other friends who helped him in the robbery, but later, while trying to sell the phone by offering it to pedestrians in a nearby neighborhood, one of them decided to put into practice that “whoever steals from a thief has a thousand years of forgiveness”, take the phone out of his hands and run away.
The story ends well, with the girl getting her phones back and all the thieves being arrested for at least one free photo session at the nearest police station precisely thanks to Find My iPhone. You haven’t activated it? Get it over with!