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.

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