Estimated read time: 6-7 minutes
[IN] TLS WIC HTS
-- WITH PHOTO -- TO NATIONAL, AND TECHNOLOGY EDITORS:
CTIA-The Wireless Association@ and Participating Wireless Companies
Announce the "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment"
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CTIA and
participating wireless companies today announced the "Smartphone
Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment," which is the most recent effort by
the industry to deter smartphone thefts in the U.S. The safety and
security of wireless users remain the wireless industry's top
priority, and is why this commitment will continue to protect
consumers while recognizing the companies' need to retain flexibility
so they may constantly innovate, which is key to stopping smartphone
The "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment" states:
Each device manufacturer and operating system signatory of Part I of
this "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment" agrees that new
models of smartphones first manufactured after July 2015 for retail
sale in the United States will offer, at no cost to consumers, a
baseline anti-theft tool that is preloaded or downloadable on wireless
smartphones that provides the connected capability to:
Remote wipe the authorized user's data (i.e., erase personal info that is added after purchase such as contacts, photos, emails, etc.) that is on the smartphone in the event it is lost or stolen.
Render the smartphone inoperable to an unauthorized user (e.g., locking the smartphone so it cannot be used without a password or PIN), except in accordance with FCC rules for 911 emergency communications, and if available, emergency numbers programmed by the authorized user (e.g., "phone home").
Prevent reactivation without authorized user's permission (includingunauthorized factory reset attempts) to the extent technologically feasible (e.g., locking the smartphone as in 2 above).
Reverse the inoperability if the smartphone is recovered by the authorized user and restore user data on the smartphone to the extent feasible (e.g., restored from the cloud).
In addition to this baseline anti-theft tool, consumers may use other
technological solutions, if available for their smartphones.
Each network operator signatory of Part II to the "Smartphone
Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment" commits to permit the availability
and full usability of a baseline anti-theft tool to be preloaded or
downloadable on smartphones as specified in this commitment.
The following network operators, device manufacturers and operating
system companies are participating in the voluntary commitment: Apple
Inc.; Asurion; AT&T; Google Inc.; HTC America, Inc.; Huawei Device
USA; Motorola Mobility LLC; Microsoft Corporation; Nokia, Inc.;
Samsung Telecommunications America, L.P.; Sprint Corporation; T-Mobile
USA; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless.
"We appreciate the commitment made by these companies to protect
wireless users in the event their smartphones are lost or stolen. This
flexibility provides consumers with access to the best features and
apps that fit their unique needs while protecting their smartphones
and the valuable information they contain. At the same time, it's
important different technologies are available so that a 'trap door'
isn't created that could be exploited by hackers and criminals," said
Steve Largent, President and CEO, CTIA. "By working together with
policymakers, law enforcement and consumers, we will deter theft and
protect users' personal information on smartphones."
Oregon State Senator Bruce Starr, President of the National Conference
of State Legislatures (NCSL), said, "The NCSL applauds today's
announcement unveiling the wireless industry's commitment to reduce
the number of smartphone thefts each year by providing anti-theft
tools on future devices. This voluntary effort serves as another
positive illustration of the wireless industry adapting to address
consumer needs through self-regulation. The NCSL encourages your
ongoing collaboration with consumers and the state lawmakers as we
continue to work cooperatively to reduce the number of smartphone
"While the Minnesota legislature is poised to pass the nation's
first 'kill switch' law as early as next week, I have said all
along we would welcome the industry's ideas and solutions to
address this critical public safety issue. With today's announcement,
CTIA and its member companies have stepped up to protect customers
and promote public safety, and I commend and support their efforts,"
said Minnesota State Representative Joe Atkins.
"I am encouraged by these steps to deter smartphone thefts and hopeful
that that these measures will bring much needed protections to Chicago
consumers," said Chicago Alderman Edward M. Burke. "As the sponsor of
pending legislation that seeks to mandate 'kill switch' technology on
all smartphones sold in Chicago, I commend the smartphone industry for
its cooperative efforts, but will remain watchful that these
commitments are both upheld and result in the shared goal of reducing
smartphone thefts citywide."
"We got the kill switch technology solution we wanted to protect
Illinois consumers. The wireless industry has agreed to provide a free
preloaded or downloadable anti-theft application for smartphones to
help protect owners if their phones are stolen. This tool would allow
smartphone owners to remotely wipe their personal data and remotely
shut down a stolen phone so it is not valuable to thieves. Today's
announcement is a significant step to provide additional protections
to Illinois consumers," said Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson.
Rhode Island State Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio praised
the voluntary commitment by saying, "I am grateful to the
participating carriers, device manufacturers and operating system
companies for voluntarily coming to this decision to improve public
safety. This is a move which is good for consumers and good for
business, in my opinion. It gives consumers peace of mind and protects
them from the threat of having their personal information exposed. The
ability to make the system inoperable also eliminates much of the
incentive for theft in the first place."
"Smartphone theft is a growing concern around the country. That's why
we introduced legislation to try to stop the secondhand market for
stolen smartphones. This agreement will go a long way towards reducing
the secondhand market for phones that are stolen, and I commend the
industry for taking these steps," said Minnesota State Senator Katie
The "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment" furthers the
multi-layered approach previously announced to protect consumers and
aid law enforcement. This proactive initiative includes blacklist
databases, consumer education and federal legislation (S. 1070),
sponsored by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, to impose tough penalties
against those caught stealing devices or modifying them illegally.
CTIA-The Wireless Association@ ( www.ctia.org ) is an international
organization representing the wireless communications industry.
Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their
suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data
services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all
levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry's
voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry's
leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in
Twitter: @ctia | Blog: http://ctia.it/Na6erv| Facebook:
SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association
/CONTACT: Amy Storey, email@example.com, 202-736-3207
/Web Site: http://www.ctia.org
CO: CTIA-The Wireless Association
ST: District of Columbia
IN: TLS WIC HTS
-- DC06133 --
0000 04/15/2014 20:19:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.