As smartphones become more popular, luxurious and capable, thefts of the devices are drastically on the rise. To try and help solve the issue, the San Francisco District Attorney and New York Attorney General will be holding a “smartphone summit” next week to meet with four of the top smartphone players: Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung.
While a number of phone carriers and manufacturers have taken some steps to help deter phone thefts, such as creating shared databases to track stolen phones, New York and San Francisco want more to be done. The cities want phone manufacturers to begin implementing systems that would make a stolen phone permanently inoperable, as a means to deter theft.
“The theft of handheld devices is the fastest-growing street crime, and increasingly, incidents are turning violent,” commented New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “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.”
Besides the concern of smartphone thefts turning violent, politicians are also upset by how smartphone thefts effect the appearance of crime rate in their cities. New York’s overall crime rate would have decreased this past year, however, if you include all crime involving stolen Apple products, overall crime went up.
“With 1.6 million Americans falling victim to smartphone theft in 2012, this has become a national epidemic,” said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “Unlike other types of crimes, smartphone theft can be eradicated with a simple technological solution.”
It will be interesting to see if any significant movements towards a solution take place at the New York City gathering on June 13th.
Image Credit: The Times