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Government Officials Ask Samsung, Google To Take Steps To Secure Smartphones Following An Increase In Theft

June 5, 2013 - Written By Chance Miller

There’s no doubting that smartphones are worth a lot of money, especially flagships from companies like Apple and Samsung. As we unfortunately are all well aware of, things that carry a high after-market value are often huge targets for the theft, and the case is no different with smartphones and tablets.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has recently started pressuring smartphone manufacturers to do more to prevent thefts of smartphones. Earlier this year, he sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft with this plead, saying “I seek to understand why companies that can develop sophisticated handheld electronics, such as the products manufactured by Apple, cannot also create technology to render stolen devices inoperable and thereby eliminate the expanding black market on which they are sold.” He must have not gotten too far with the back and forth, however, as he has now scheduled a face to face meeting with the top mobile executives.

Along with San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, Schneiderman has called for representatives from Samsung, Apple, Google, Motorola, and Microsoft to attend a “smartphone summit” in New York City on June 13th.

The two attorney generals essentially want a ‘kill switch’ that renders a device useless after being stolen, which therefore may lower chance of theft in the first place. Schneiderman believes that companies think they have no reason to do this because they benefit by selling a new phone to victims of theft. “It’s time for manufacturers to be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live,” Schneiderman said.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has always blamed smartphones for the city’s constant increase in theft, claiming that crimes involving Apple products had increased 40 percent as of last December.

While smartphone theft is certainly something to be worried about, we’ll see what actually comes out of this smartphone summit. I wouldn’t hold my breath for any changes to happen soon.

Have you ever been the victim of a smartphone theft? Do you think companies could be doing more to prevent it? Let us know down in the comments!

Source: New York Daily News