Today's average wireless users spend a lot of time texting, talking and browsing the Internet, which usually means smartphones contain their personal information. But what happens to that data if your smartphone is lost or stolen?
CTIA and its member companies, including multiple carrier, handset manufacturer and operating system developers, have been hard at work over the last year to help law enforcement with its stolen phone problem.
Most recently, CTIA and participating wireless companies announced its "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment," which will continue to protect consumers while recognizing the companies' need to retain flexibility so they may constantly innovate, which is key to stopping smartphone theft.
The industry, with direction from the Federal Communications Commission, law enforcement officials from major cities on the East Coast, and other policymakers have worked collaboratively to develop a proactive, multifaceted approach to dry up the aftermarket for stolen phones. Part of that effort involves the development of an integrated 3G and 4G/LTE database that is designed to prevent stolen phones from being reactivated. As more countries and more carriers around the world participate in the database, criminals will have fewer outlets for their stolen devices.
We are strong supporters of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer's Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act, which would impose tough penalties on those who steal devices or modify them illegally to help dry up the market for those who traffic in stolen devices.
In addition, wireless companies have been individually and collectively educating consumers about passwords, apps and other preventative measures to take so that if their smartphones are ever lost or stolen, their personal information is protected. Most recently, we've sent police stations across the country business card-sized tips to share with their citizens.
To help consumers, CTIA and its members developed a public service announcement (PSA) video, which serves as an attention-grabbing reminder to use their smartphones' features and apps to remote lock, track and erase if the devices are lost or stolen.
CTIA and its members remind you that your personal safety, not your smartphone, should always be your number one priority.
FAQ on Lost/Stolen Devices