A service from Apple that I have found to be extremely convenient and useful is Find my iPhone. Of course, it works for more just that, also locating devices such as iPod touches, iPads, and Macs. This is great for if you lose a device or, worst case scenario, a device is stolen. However, thieves have quickly learned that the easiest way to stop Find My iPhone from working is just turning the device off. Simple as that. Different ideas have been thrown around, including a feature that would require the user to input a PIN to shut down a device. Now it appears AT&T is going to try taking the prevention part into their own hands with a “block list” of sorts on the network side. This would be only for iPhones and iPads running on their network though. Louis Goddard from The Verge described it here:
AT&T will launch a new service for reporting and blocking stolen devices on Tuesday, July 10, according to a trusted source.
The service will allow customers to deny voice, data and SMS access to any individual phone or tablet while keeping their account intact, avoiding the inconvenience of a full SIM block.
According to The Verge, the carrier has already informed it’s customer service reps that servers will suspend service “if any attempt is made to use a device that is stored in the blocklist.” In order to get your device off the blocklist, you will have to contact customer service directly. User with data wipe apps will “be required to activate them before suspending their device, to prevent access to their personal information.”
It’s expected that this new service from AT&T will be a part of the FCC’s initiative to create a joint database that would keep track of stolen devices and those reported lost. According to the FCC, 40% of all robberies in major metro areas are mobile devices, specifically the more popular ones, which includes iPhones and iPads. Maybe something AT&T could look into is getting this integrated with Apple’s Find My iPhone, making it much easier to use…just a suggestion.
What do you think? Is AT&T making the right move handling it themselves? Would you prefer Apple be able to put this in Find My iPhone? Let us know in the comments.
Via: The Verge