AT&T to Launch Blocking Service for Stolen Devices on July 10

July 9, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

According to sources close to AT&T, the network carrier will launch a new service for reporting and blocking stolen devices on Tuesday (July 10).

According to a leaked official document reportedly sent to the customer service representatives of the carrier, the service will allow an AT&T consumer to deny voice, data and SMS access to his or her device in case it is stolen or lost.

The advantage is that the account need not be blocked completely, but ensures it is not misused.

The carrier will keep a list of stolen or lost devices which their owners requested to block. Since the services to the blacklisted devices are suspended, they can’t be sold in the market or used by inserting another SIM card.

Customers can add their devices to the list by contacting a customer service representative directly. Users should wipe the data in their device if they have remote data wiping apps before blocking the device.

Only the person who has requested blocking his or her device will be allowed to request a block removal if he or she retrieves the device.

The move is believed to be part of the collaborative effort from major carriers and phone makers like Apple whose iPhone is reportedly a favorite target of muggers.

Apple has proposed a national database of stolen phones to be compiled with the help of the four carriers and FCC. However, this proposal triggered privacy concerns. We don’t yet know if the AT&T venture will raise such concerns.

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