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[ATG] AG Zoeller joins effort urging smart phone manufacturers to include anti-theft software
Start Date: 11/12/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 11/12/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined 30 other attorneys general today to urge leading smartphone manufacturers to step up security features on phones.

One in three thefts involves a mobile communications device in the U.S. and Consumer Reports estimates that 1.6 million Americans were victimized by smartphone thieves last year.

Zoeller recently joined the Secure our Smartphones (S.O.S.) Initiative which sent a letter today to Google/Motorola, Samsung and Microsoft. The S.O.S. Initiative is an international coalition of prosecutors, police chiefs, state and city comptrollers, and public safety activists.

“Smart phones are not only stolen for their resell value, but they also contain consumers’ personal and financial information,” Zoeller said. “Communities and law enforcement can’t cut down on this growing crime alone. That’s why state attorneys general are calling on manufacturers to install better anti-theft software which could wipe out thieves’ ability to make a profit or steal sensitive information.”

By joining the initiative, the attorneys general committed to press the smartphone industry to find an effective way to combat the rise in violent street crimes involving smartphone thefts.

Zoeller said one method discussed to dry up aftermarket phone sales includes installing a smartphone “kill switch” which could render a phone permanently useless if stolen. Currently, if a mobile device is reported stolen in the U.S. and no longer able to access domestic cell networks, the phone can still be reactivated to work in foreign countries.

To avoid having your information stolen along with your phone, the attorney general's office recommends having password protection, backing-up your phone regularly, signing up for a tracking service and seeking out security software.

Zoeller said manufacturers have added some new anti-theft security features, but the response from manufacturers needs to be more robust. For example, some of the security features have an opt-out component or require consumers to pay for them.

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*A copy of the letter sent by the attorneys general to smartphone manufacturers is attached.

Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: erin.reece@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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