iOS7 Activation Lock Makes Stolen Phone Useless
Activation Lock, a new feature within Apple's iOS7, is being lauded by members of the Secure Our Smartphones Coalition.
Apple responded with the world's first attempt to implement a technological solution to the global smartphone theft epidemic after months of pressure from the group. Apple's iOS7, released Wednesday, includes a theft deterrent feature which will make the phone useless if Activation Lock is enabled after the phone is stolen.
All a user has to do is access their Apple account from another iOS device or icloud.com and launch Activation Lock. This will immediately disable the phone. It can only be unlocked by the user's own Apple ID and password.
Further, in order to "wipe" the phone of data, a thief would need the Apple ID and password. The Activation Lock is also launched if a thief attempts to disable "Find My iPhone," which uses the built-in GPS to locate a missing phone.
The coalition says this is the first step in solving smartphone thefts known as "Apple picking."
The Secure Our Smartphones Coalition was founded by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. It has garnered support from a global coalition of elected officials and law enforcement agencies.