NY Attorney General Presses Apple And Google On Stopping Device Thefts



iPhone theft has become a huge issue in big city like New York City. In fact, Mayor Bloomberg says the iPhone was responsible for New York City’s first increase in crime in 20 years.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is supposedly pretty tired of his constituents getting their iPhones stolen from them, so he’s written a public letter to Tim Cook asking why Apple isn’t doing more to stop iPhone theft.

In his letter to Cook, Schneiderman stated the following:

“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.”

Schneiderman also mailed letters to Google, Microsoft, and Samsung regarding smartphone theft. In his letter, Schneiderman reminded companies of the 2012 murder of a 26-year-old chef at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, who was killed for his iPhone. There was another incident in February where three people were stabbed in the subway while fighting over an iPhone.

At one point in his letter Schneiderman also questions whether companies like Apple and Google aren’t concerned about device theft because they benefit from sales of replacement devices.

It’s rumored that Apple is working on a fingerprint scanner that will be implemented in the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6. Using biometric security data, the fingerprint scanner could add a new layer of security to deter theives, but don’t expect Tim Cook to tell Schneiderman all of Apple’s plans in a public reply.


Source: Bloomberg

  • kevin13769

    And here in lays the problem… An imbecile in power that does not understand tech…!!!

    You can already wipe a phone, in most cases the phone will be covered by home contents insurance, and some will have specific phone insurance (rip off), and the phone has software implemented that can track a phone and even wipe it… Yet the police don’t have time to chase these down as they are overworked (staff shortages) down to the same government officials complaining…

    And then there is the additional problem that it is an IMEI that has to be locked, which is in the control of the phone companies, who won’t release this control to the manufacturer as it is the pone thing that keeps people locked into contracts…! Locked phones…!!!

    Who is too blame…???

    Pass legislation that makes the phone locked on one locked on all. This means there is a centrally looked at database that if one company locks a phone as lost or stolen, then it cannot be registered onto a different network… Simple really, and already works in the UK…

    It doesn’t stop shipping abroad, but makes it a lot harder to sell on a stolen phone if it doesn’t work with your sim card…!!!

    Other than that, if you want to stop crime, try locking more criminals up for longer, that may help as well… Or is that Apples responsibility as well… ;)

  • Jdsonice

    I was wondering how crime fighting is Apple or Google’s responsibility?

    The Honda Civic is the most stolen car in NY. Has the AG of NY written to Honda to do something about it.

    This is a stupid request from someone who is trying to blame vendors for their inability to do their job.

  • nycjosh_

    “its like New York went soft ever since Jobs came through and crushed the buildings”

  • lukecwheeler

    This is in no way Apple’s, or any other smartphone manufacturer’s responsibility – and actually, Schneiderman, Apple have done far more than other manufacturers to help users recover lost / stolen devices. If any user or government / law enforcement agency had the ability to completely blacklist a device, it just opens up a whole other black market. Buying a legit iPhone on eBay is already difficult enough – imagine the number of frustrated eBay users that would start receiving blacklisted devices that were advertised otherwise.

    Schneiderman sending these letters out just proves that he is yet another average member of society with no understanding of this industry whatsoever. He should not be publicising this through inane and ill-thought requests to the companies that clearly have thought this through years ago. It would not solve a thing.

  • Gregory Wright

    Political grandstanding that is all this is.

  • ctt1wbw

    New York. Liberal state. And as usual for liberals, they blame the object instead of the person.

  • asura

    I’m not sure about Google/Android, but I have the option of logging into my (free) iCloud account and using the (free) Find My iPhone feature to locate my phone and/or click on the “Erase iPhone” button…