Posting in Technology
An integrated listing of stolen or misplaced cell phones is being developed by four huge wireless carriers at the behest of the FCC, according to report by The Wall Street Journal.
Misplacing a smartphone or other mobile device is an increasingly dangerous identity theft proposition, but a new database being created by four giant U.S. wireless carriers as part of a deal with the federal govenrment could help minimize the impact, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ reports that the agreement brokered by the Federal Communications Commission will result in the creation of a database listening phones that have been reported as stolen or lost. Phones in the database would be denied voice or data communications service, the article said.
The database is being created by AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel and Verizon Communications, according to the WSJ. Sprint and Verizon already have a process and system in place for blocking reactivation for phones that are reported stolen. The protection for the integrated database would come in the form of a unique serial number for each device that has gone missing.
Without service, it would be more difficult for thieves to pilfer confidential information that could be used to mess with some person's financial life or some company's confidential information. It would also make stolen phones harder to unload on the black market -- at least until someone figures out a workaround to mess with the serial numbers used for protection.
There aren't any real details yet or statements about the plan from the carriers, but individual databases are supposed to be together within six months. Over the subsequent 18 months, those databases will be integrated into a central source, according to the WSJ report.
Apparently, tablet computers with wireless data plans would be included in the database.
The problem of smartphone and tablet computer theft has taken on new urgency as more people buy them personally, but bring them over into their professional lives. That phenomenon is exposing businesses to new security threats, as businesses scramble to put data management policies in place.
The chances of actually recovering a smartphone are still pretty bleak. A recent study by Symantec found that only half of the people who actually find a mobile device tried to return it. Meanwhile, in about 90 percent of the cases, "found" smartphones were later used to try to access private or personal information on the device or on related applications.
(Thumbnail image by Jakub Krechowicz; courtesy of Stock.xchng)
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Apr 9, 2012
the real problem is not hardware but data on the phone/tablet/ANY PORTABLE DEVICE just add a fingerprint or other biometric reader to the hardware and be done with it. if you loose your device after reboot it is looked and any data is encripted. if you can identify your self properly, you get access else the device is wiped clean with no recovery option. problem solved. So what if the device can then be used again by some one who found it. your info is safe and that's is what most important.
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Hello there, That is one concern of this plan, because other carriers aren't "on board" So, yes, that is a possibility but it would still require someone to get around the serial number, apparently. Heather