CTIA-The Wireless Association@ and Participating Wireless Companies Announce the "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment"



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-- 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

theft.

The "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment" states:

Part I

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.

Part II

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

thefts annually."

"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

Sieben.

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

Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @ctia | Blog: http://ctia.it/Na6erv| Facebook:

http://ctia.it/LCm4Nn| LinkedIn Group: http://ctia.it/Na6cA2| Google+:

http://ctia.it/12PfCrO

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SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association

-0- 04/15/2014

/CONTACT: Amy Storey, astorey@ctia.org, 202-736-3207

/Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100629/DC28223LOGO-a

/Web Site: http://www.ctia.org

CO: CTIA-The Wireless Association

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0000 04/15/2014 20:19:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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