The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is jumping into the problem of phone thefts.
Phone thefts currently account for approximately 40% of reported robberies in major cities. And thefts of the actual phone aren’t the only issue. According to a study we reported on last month, nearly 90% of phones that are lost are looked through by finders, which can see everything from private photos to passwords and other account information. This puts the phone’s owner at a heightened risk of identity theft.
The FCC program involves setting up a universal database that will allow the phone’s (or tablet’s) carrier to disable the device if it’s reported as stolen. They did not say if they would do the same for lost phones and tablets.
The FCC is attempting to take the program worldwide asking other countries to participate in the database.
They’re also asking cell phone manufacturers to implement programs that automatically prompt the user to password protect sensitive data on the phone, and the FCC is launching a public education campaign to tell owners about apps which can remotely lock and delete the contents of stolen or lost phones and tablets.
Most major manufacturers, and all the major US carriers, have agreed to cooperate with the FCC in regards to the anti-theft plan. No word yet on what other countries may be willing to participate.