CTIA and wireless companies such as Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment" to deter smartphone theft in the U.S.
The commitment says that new models of smartphones manufactured after July 2015 will have free anti-theft tools that are preloaded or downloadable. These tools will allow for remotely wiping the user's data, rendering the smartphone inoperable to an unauthorized user and preventing reactivation without permission. They will also be capable of reversing the inoperability and restoring data if the smartphone is recovered.
Device manufacturers and operating system companies such as Apple, AT&T, Google, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are participating in the voluntary commitment.
“We appreciate the commitment made by these companies to protect wireless users in the event their smartphones are lost or stolen," CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent said. "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 ‘trapdoor’ isn’t created that could be exploited by hackers and criminals. By working together with policymakers, law enforcement and consumers, we will deter theft and protect users’ personal information on smartphones."