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Smartphone Theft: What Is Best Defense?


The latest smartphones might feature screens with unparalleled colors and clarity, cutting-edge cameras, and the ability to run a bewildering array of apps. But why don’t they build in better loss prevention?

That’s the gist of a plea issued this week by New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, who’s written to the CEOs of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, urging them to “help crack down on cell phone theft” by making it more difficult for thieves to wipe stolen devices’ memory and resell the devices.


“This is a multi-billion dollar industry that produces some of the most popular and technologically advanced consumer electronic products in the world,” said Schneiderman in a statement. “Surely we can work together to find solutions that lead to a reduction in violent street crime targeting consumers.”


Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung — plus Motorola, which is owned by Google — control 90% of the U.S. smartphone market. All four except Google build some type of recovery capabilities into their devices. For Android, there are add-ons available in the Google Play online store.

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