D.A. Gascón & A.G. Schneiderman Host Tech Test Of Smartphone Security Features

Security Experts To Test Apple iPhone 5 With Activation Lock & Samsung Galaxy s4 With LoJack For Android

Schneiderman & District Attorney Gascón: A Technological Solution That Eliminates The Value Of Stolen Smartphones Will End Spike In Violent Street Crimes

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that the Secure Our Smartphone (S.O.S) Initiative is bringing state and federal security experts together to test the new smartphone security features recently introduced by Apple and Samsung.  During a meeting today in San Francisco, technical experts – including representatives from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) – will be given an Apple iPhone 5 with a new anti-theft security feature known as "Activation Lock" enabled and a Samsung Galaxy s4 with a new anti-theft security feature known as "Lojack for Android" enabled.  The smartphones will be treated as if they were stolen by thieves, and attempts will be made to circumvent the anti-theft features. 

Attorney General Schneiderman and District Attorney Gascón today issued the following statement:

“Finding technical solutions that will remove the economic value of stolen smartphones is critical to ending the national epidemic of violent street crimes commonly known as ‘Apple Picking.’ With roughly 113 smartphones stolen or lost each minute in the United States, and too many of those thefts turning violent or deadly, the Secure our Smartphones Initiative is committed to ensuring the industry does everything it can to make their products and their customers safe. While we are appreciative of the efforts made by Apple and Samsung to improve security of the devices they sell, we are not going to take them at their word. Today we will assess the solutions they are proposing and see if they stand up to the tactics commonly employed by thieves.  Together, we are working to ensure that the industry imbeds persistent technology that is effective, ubiquitous and free to consumers in every smartphone introduced to the market by next year.”

Last month, Attorney General Schneiderman and District Attorney Gascón announced the creation of a groundbreaking national coalition of state Attorneys General, District Attorneys, major city Police Chiefs, state and city Comptrollers, public safety activists and consumer advocates from around the country. This new Secure Our Smartphone Initiative is working to encourage the industry to implement meaningful solutions that will end the national epidemic of violent thefts of mobile communications devices such as smartphones and tablets.  

For more information on efforts by District Attorney Gascón and Attorney General Schneiderman to combat “Apple-Picking,” visit the San Francisco District Attorney’s website or the New York State Attorney General’s website

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