Can Your Smartphone Maker Keep Your Phone From Being Stolen?

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently sent critical letters to major technology companies, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Samsung, asking them to help him combat thefts of iPhones and other handheld devices in the state, Bloomberg reports. The desire for these companies’ devices has not only led to increased theft in the state of New York, but it also has significantly expanded its black market.

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While New York police have reported 11,447 incidents of Apple product theft last year from January to September, Schneiderman encourages Apple and its fellow technological comrades to help him deter the theft of iPhones and other tech devices by locking them or somehow rendering them inoperable when they are reported as stolen. In portions of the letters highlighted in Bloomberg’s report, the NY Attorney General subtly criticizes the companies for being able to develop such sophisticated products but still proving incapable of producing technologies that protect them from theft.

Schneiderman, who has been in office since 2011, cited recent crime figures in the state to help make his point. He also offered harsh disapproval of any sales strategy that would benefit from the insecurity of a company’s products, increasing the sale of replacement devices.

In response to the letter, Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said, “The company encourages smartphone users to lock their devices with a personal identification number or pattern and set their device to automatically lock when not in use.” Other emails regarding the letters were not answered.

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Though the problem isn’t exclusive to New York City and state residents, the increase in street crime targeting customers has lead Schneiderman to issue the plea. However, because much of the responsibility lies with the actual users, it is arguably a worthwhile strategy to address them as well.

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