Network Carriers and US Authorities Mull Over Phone Tracking Database to Combat Phone Theft

April 10, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Finally, authorities are set to join hands with major networks in the US to combat phone theft cases in a more efficient and quick manner.

We hear that major network providers in the country  – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile –  will help authorities in building up a database of lost or stolen phones.

The move comes at a time when gadgets are turning into the muggers’ most favorite targets. According to an estimate, 50 percent of 16,000 mugging attempts that took place in the first 10 months of 2011 involved gadgets being taken by force. The new joint initiative will indeed help to bring down this number.

The database managed by the networks will be centralized in nature and will help the authorities and the networks to track the phones which are reported as lost or stolen. This would make it difficult for thieves to sell the phone again, since it will be tracked.

All the major networks are said to be starting to build their own databases in six months. Within the next 18 months all these databases will be centralized. Later, smaller networks, which operate locally, will also join the database to spread the anti-theft service.

As part of this anti-phone theft fight, networks and authorities are also planning to encourage the users to adopt password protection methods on their gadgets, which will make the task tougher for the muggers.

The initiative will not stop the incidents of phone snatching, but it will bring down the rate of such incidents considerably.

Similar networks are in existence in countries like the UK, Germany, France and Australia, where phone theft cases have fallen considerably.

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