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Schneiderman, 30 other state AGs urge smart-phone industry to protect consumers

By Eric Reinhardt


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today announced a total of 31 attorneys general have signed a letter urging the smart-phone industry to protect consumers.

The law enforcers are urging three smart-phone manufacturers — including Google/Motorola, Samsung, and Microsoft — to develop a technological means to safeguard smart-phone users in their states by “drying up” secondary markets for stolen devices and eliminate the economic incentive for theft, Schneiderman’s office said in a news release.

With this letter, this group of attorneys general is now party to the Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S.) Initiative, an effort to encourage the smart-phone industry to implement a “meaningful” solution to end a “disturbing” trend of robberies involving mobile-communication devices, known as “Apple Picking,” according to Schneiderman’s office.

Manufacturers and carriers need to put public safety before corporate profits and stop this “violent epidemic,” which has put millions of smart-phone users at risk, Schneiderman contended in the news release.

“While we are encouraged by the new, anti-theft security features presented by some smart-phone makers, the seriousness of this issue demands a more robust response. I’m glad that my fellow attorneys general have joined our global chorus, increasing awareness of these crimes and insisting that the industry develop a proactive measure to ensure the safety of our citizens,” Schneiderman said.

Launched earlier this year, the S.O.S. Initiative is an international coalition of prosecutors, police chiefs, state and city comptrollers, and public safety activists.

New York Attorney General Schneiderman, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and London Mayor Boris Johnson are co-chairing the initiative.

By joining the effort, the attorneys general committed to press this industry to find an “effective” way to combat the rise in violent street crimes involving smart-phone thefts, Schneiderman’s office said.


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