Stolen Phone Databases Go Live
The CTIA Wireless Association announced recently that the four major U.S. wireless network operators -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless -- have launched their databases of stolen cell phone IDs. The effort was kicked off in April and is meant to help curb the secondary market for stolen devices. The databases (one for GSM-based devices and another for CDMA-based devices) hold lists of the IMEI identification numbers of stolen devices. When someone attempts to activate a stolen device, it can be prevented from accessing the wireless network. In order for the system to work, however, consumers need to report their stolen device to their wireless provider so it can be added to the list. The CTIA also suggested that consumers take care to protect their personal information, much of which is accessible through their phones, by password protecting their devices. By curbing the market for stolen cell phones, the CTIA and other organizations hope to reduce cell phone thefts. CTIA CEO and President Steve Largent said, "CTIA and its member companies have always been advocates for wireless users' safety, which is why we're pleased our members met the voluntary deadline to create databases that will prevent stolen smartphones from being reactivated."