Apple Rolls Out Anti-Theft iPhone Activation Lock

Apart from unveiling its latest computing devices and the iO7, Apple also introduces a new security feature for iPhone owners in case the handset is physically stolen. The iPhone activation lock feature makes your iPhone inoperable once the crook tries to disable the program that locates the missing smartphone without typing in an account password.

“We think it’s going to be a really powerful theft deterrest,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

The unveiling of the iPhone activation lock comes as American law enforcement authorities report a spike in the number of theft cases involving smartphones and tablets, including the iPhone and iPad. These stolen devices are allegedly being deposited in recycling centers in exchange for quick cash.

In some cases, these devices end up in the black market, with iPhone and iPad holding the highest value, selling them to as far away as Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, representatives of Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Google are about to meet with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. Both attorneys have criticized tech companies for failing to deploy anti-theft technology in their devices.

“We are hopeful that the cell phone industry will imbed persistent technology that is free to consumers that will make a phone inoperable once stolen, even if the device is off, the SIM card is removed or the phone is modified by a thief to avoid detection,” the prosecutors said in a joint statement.

Before the iPhone activation lock, Apple’s only feature for theft victims is the “Find My iPhone” program, which locates their stolen devices on a map, display a message on its screen, set up a passcode lock, and wipe out data from the device. However, thieves have been able to turn off this feature with ease, in an effort to remain undetected.

Source: Huffington Post

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