Wireless Carriers Creating Blacklist to Curb Smartphone Theft

If your smartphone is stolen, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association wants to make sure no one cashes in on it.

The CWTA announced on Nov. 8th that wireless carriers will work together to create a system that would blacklist lost or stolen smartphones and keep them from being reactivated.

Carriers will have to verify whether a phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity number is listed as stolen in Canada or internationally before it is cleared for activation.

Tablets running on LTE networks through a subscription will be protected as well but not those that only use WiFi.

CWTA president Bernard said the buyer of the stolen phone will not be able to connect to any network in Canada, therefore, this reduces the black market value and eliminates the incentive to steal the device in the first place.

We should expect the database to be in operation by September 2013 and totally free to use. The $20 million development cost will be picked up by companies within the wireless industry.

Additional measures to help the public deal with stolen devices include setting up a consumer information website and introducing a series of broadcast public service announcements on protecting information on smartphones.

Discuss this further in Digital Home’s Smartphone and Tablet forum.


2 Responses to “Wireless Carriers Creating Blacklist to Curb Smartphone Theft”
  1. name777 says:

    As usual, consumers get screwed in the process of trying to implement something seemingly good. One phrase in this article tells that ALL brand new phones will be listed as stolen until activated. Doesn’t this mean that you’ll have to bring your legally-purchased factory-sealed unlocked phone to your operator to activate, putting them back into controlling what yours?

    • I don’t think it will go that far. You’ll simply have to report in with your provider when your phone is stolen, then they will enter the information in the database and hopefully prevent anyone else from using it.