AT&T (NYSE:T) is planning to launch a service that will allow customers to report and block stolen mobile devices as part of a broader effort planned along with the Federal Communications Commission. The new service will allow customers to deny voice, data, and text access to any single phone or tablet without requiring a full SIM block and while keeping their account intact.
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Customers will be able to add a device to the list by calling customer service. Users with remote data wipe apps will be required to activate them before suspending their device in order to “prevent access to their personal information.”
The service will launch next week, according to The Verge, and may turn into a cross-carrier facility later this year. In April, the four major carriers — AT&T, Verizon (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile, and Sprint (NYSE:S) — and the FCC had agreed to work together to compile and manage a database of stolen phones. Devices on such a list would be blocked out for future use, effectively eliminating their resale value. However, the April proposal had raised certain privacy concerns, which are likely to come up again after AT&T’s latest step.