1 Comment

Summary:

Canada, like everywhere else, is experience a crime wave involving thefts of iPhones and tablets. The country’s telecom regulator is now demanding that phone companies take steps to create a registry by November.

Phone theft

Canadians have a reputation for politeness but they still like mugging each other for iPhones. Now, the situation has become so bad that the country’s telecom regulator is warning phone companies to create an iCrime registry by November or it will do it for them.

According to the Globe & Mail, a surge of violent cell phone robberies in cities like Toronto and Vancouver has led to political pressure on phone carriers to do something about the problem. Now:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is warning that it is prepared to use regulation to force the wireless industry into setting up a national registry of stolen smartphones and tablets, as more and more consumers fall victim to so-called ‘iCrime.’

The iCrime problem has reached similar proportions in the U.S., and especially New York City, which has experienced a surge in subway muggings, and where one in seven crimes is reportedly tied to Apple products.

The idea of a registry has also been floated in the U.S. by a Wall Street Journal reporter who had his jaw broken while chasing thugs who took his date’s iPad.

Phone carriers in the U.S. and Canada may be dragging their feet over a registry due to the cost of creating one. They may also fear losing out on serving the large market for second-hand and replacement iPhones.

Some people argue in favor of non-regulatory options but these may not work. Consumers, for instance, can use the “find my iPhone” feature but thieves are becoming aware of the feature too. Likewise, some argue in favor of common sense (would you wave a hundred dollar bill around on the subway?) but people appear too addicted to their devices to keep them in their pockets.

In Canada, the Globe said the regulator is pressing the phone carriers to provide a “detailed explanation of the costs and barriers” they would face in creating the registry. Meanwhile, the country is still struggling to solve the recent $30 million heist at the “Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve.”

(Image by Tubol Evgeniya via Shutterstock)

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Michael W. Perry Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    “Phone carriers in the U.S. and Canada may be dragging their feet over a registry due to the cost of creating one. They may also fear losing out on serving the large market for second-hand and replacement iPhones.”

    If true, it’s a good illustration of the principle that: “Cellular providers are so greedy, they’re stupid.”

    I’m one of those who uses second-hand iPhones to avoid those costly subsidy plans. One of the key difficulties with doing that is knowing if the iPhone I’m getting is stolen or not. A theft registry would make me and others like me MORE likely to be a part of the used market.

    Perhaps even more important, good theft protection will make happier all those customers who buy one of the most expensive plans and insist on having the latest phone. When their phone gets stolen, they lose a lot more than I do. They’ll love a theft registry and the weakened incentive for thieves to steal one of those pricey gadgets.

    Like I said, cell-phone companies are often so stupid, they have to be kicked into doing the right thing. That’s what is happening here.

Comments have been disabled for this post