Attorneys General for New York and San Francisco strongly urge iPhone and iPad users to download iOS 7

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released this joint statement following today’s deployment of Apple’s newest operating system, iOS 7, verbatim:

“After months of pressure from a global coalition of elected officials and law enforcement agencies, we are pleased that Apple is set to release a new mobile operating system that includes a theft deterrent feature called Activation Lock. This is an important first step towards ending the global epidemic of smartphone theft.

“In the months ahead, it is our hope that Activation Lock will prove to be an effective deterrent to theft, and that the widespread use of this new system will end the victimization of iPhone users, as thieves learn that the devices have no value on the secondary market. We are particularly pleased that – because Activation Lock is a feature associated with Apple’s new operating system as opposed to a new device – it will be available to consumers with older phone models who download the free upgrade.

“While it is too early to tell if Activation Lock will be a comprehensive solution to the epidemic of ‘Apple Picking’ crimes that have victimized iPhone and iPad owners around the world, we believe it is a step forward and strongly urge iPhone users to download iOS 7, and most importantly, ensure they utilize both an Apple ID and Find My iPhone. We also encourage Apple to make Activation Lock a fully opt-out solution in order to guarantee widespread adoption, and strongly urge the other leading manufacturers of smartphones to quickly implement effective theft deterrents that protect their customers from violent crime.”

Gascón and Schneiderman also urge consumers to enable basic security features such as a password or the newly available fingerprint scanning technology on the iPhone 5S. While password and fingerprint scanning security features can help protect data on a device, they do not deter thieves from stealing smartphones. Theft deterrence for iPhone users will occur only if adoption of iOS 7, and the utilization of an Apple ID and Find My iPhone is widespread. Additionally, the success of Activation Lock is largely dependent on the failure of hackers’ rumored exploits.

Finally, they noted that simply downloading iOS 7 and enabling Activation Lock through the use of an Apple ID and Find My iPhone does not mean consumers are safe from potential theft. Even if Activation Lock proves effective, thieves will not react overnight. Accordingly, it is vital that consumers beare aware of their surroundings at all times, especially when using their smartphones in public places.

The Secure Our Smartphones (SOS) Initiative coalition is a groundbreaking coalition of state Attorneys General, major city Mayors, District Attorneys, major city Police Chiefs, state and city Comptrollers, public safety activists and consumer advocates from around the world. This initiative is working to encourage the industry to implement meaningful solutions that will end the national epidemic of violent thefts of mobile communications devices such as smartphones and tablets.

For more information on efforts by District Attorney Gascón and Attorney General Schneiderman to combat “Apple Picking,” visit the San Francisco District Attorney’s website and the New York State Attorney General’s website.

Source: New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s been working on these measures for longer than these two numbnuts have been squawking about this instead of addressing the root issue: The criminals who steal whatever they can sell. Once iPhones and iPad are rendered useless to criminals, they’ll go back to snatching purses, etc. How about making the punishment an actual deterrent, so law-abiding citizens can safely walk around with their possessions and not be fearful of getting robbed? In other words: Doing your actual jobs.

Again, Apple’s been working on these measures for a long time. Touch ID was seven years in the making, for example. Claiming credit for prompting somthing that they did nothing at all to produce is par for the course among far too many politicians.

Now that Apple’s off the table, let’s see if these two keep up the pressure on Android peddlers or if their big bad resume bullet point, er “Secure Our Smartphones” initiative will now quickly fade away.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
S.F. district attorney optimistic over Apple, Samsung progress on anti-theft tech for smartphones – July 23, 2013
U.S. State and federal governments test Apple’s iOS 7 activation lock feature – July 18, 2013
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Latest self-replicating Android Trojan looks and acts just like Windows malware – June 7, 2013
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Mobile malware: Android is a bad apple – April 15, 2013
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      1. With ‘find my iphone’ on you can’t delete or re-activate the phone however I’m assuming you can still jailbreak it and then delete and re-activate. Is that correct ?

        1. Perhaps, but none of the jailbreak teams has stated that an iOS7 exploit is ready or imminent. Until a useful chain of exploits has been identified, it’s premature to ask whether it will work under activation lock. Hence the sentence: “Additionally, the success of Activation Lock is largely dependent on the failure of hackers’ rumored exploits.”

      1. Politicians lie basically anytime their mouths are moving but these two, especially Schneiderman, are particularly offensive in their self serving rhetoric.

        Why do I care? The state of politics in our country is abysmal. No matter what side of the two party system you fall on, those who prefer equality over all and collectivism vs those who prefer freedom and individuality, its disgusting.

        I want you to care to.

    1. And they want to make it opt-out, which would mean having Find My iPhone turned ON by default. Sounds like a privacy violation to me. When it comes to privacy, especially location privacy, always go with opt-in.

      1. Oh please! Privacy violation? A feature designed specifically to allow the phone or pad owner to track their device if stolen is an invasion of WHOSE privacy? The scumbag who stole it?
        Only by turning off ALL location services are you guaranteed privacy, in which case WTF are you doing with a smartphone?
        Go back to your Nokia dumbphone, you’re obviously well suited to one.

        1. Apple specifically asks you, when setting up the phone, if you want Location Services ON or OFF. This is called opt-in, and it is the optimal choice. You feel comfortable with government mandating that location services must be ON by default?

    1. Conservatives like the MDN’s editors could not care less about the actual results of law enforcement: they just want strict rule interpretations and harsh punishments. The possibility of strict rules and punishment failing, causing more harm, or less punitive methods being far more effective at preventing crime does not enter their minds’ preconceived worldview. Even clear empirical evidence will be ignored or ridiculed when it doesn’t doesn’t mesh with their conservative ideology.

      1. If you think the US has harsh punishments you’re day-dreaming.

        Lets have a look-see at Singapore’s punishment for drugs:
        A mandatory death penalty is passed for individuals convicted of trafficking in:

        15 grams or more of heroin
        30 grams or more of cocaine
        200 grams or more of hashish
        500 grams or more of cannabis
        1200 grams or more of opium

        The best part? They have no drug problems there.

        1. I was no where close to implying that the US has the harshest punishments in world. I was saying conservatives (in any nation) view harsh punishment and strict rule interpretation as the most important factor in crime prevention to the point of ignoring its actual results. Singapore is an example of what happens when this mindset running unopposed: they might not have a drug problem, but they make up for it with their lack of freedom and basic human rights problem. Drugs are bad (mmmkay) but a government regularly killing its own people for minor nonviolent offenses is a little bit more serious.

      1. We really need to end our fabricated “war on drugs.” It serves no one except the government.

        To prevent prisons from filling up, we need to concentrate on providing better education, and that does not mean more money. Tracking the development of children from K-12 would be a far better use of war on drug money IMHO.

        That’s just one “conservative’s” opinion.

  1. Apple threw away 6 years of innovation, and made the newest iOS 7 look like an iOS ripoff. Those garish colors look too much like the dribble Google has been peddling on their Nexus tablets and phones. I am glad the setting menu says I can’t download iOS 7 because there is not enough room: I would not delete any of my apps/pictures/music for a hideous iPhone rip-off. I might even be mistaken for a Hee Haw Hillbilly!

      1. I said this in another thread, but it’s worth repeating here, since there seems to be an epidemic here.

        I was an Android user for two years. I had a phone, my kids had a tablet. I “graduated” to iPhone 5 three months ago. I also have an iPad (one year). I have upgraded my iPad to iOS 7. Phone will be done any day now.

        During my Android years, I had started with FroYo, and gone through Gingerbread, Honeycomb (on the tablet) and ICS. I used the carrier’s crapware, as well as custom ROMs with Google’s plain vanila Android.

        None of the Android flavours I had used in the past two years look ANYTHING like iOS 7. There is a fundamental difference: iOS is significantly more polished, elegant, with proper colour combinations, geometric proportions and, most importantly, significantly better usability than any Android flavour so far.

        Apparently, somebody in the blogosphere blurted out months ago that iOS 7 is visually a rip-off of Android, and the echo-chamber apparently successfully amplified that excrement to the levels of public perception even Joseph Goebbels would envy.

        Let me state here once again: iOS 7 looks NOTHING like ANY Android flavour to date. It is an entirely new, fresh and different visual interface.

    1. WTF? Really? iOS 7 may be a little jarring at first but your comment is just silly. We have an Android phone and tablet with Jelly Bean and it’s nothing like ios 7. Apple made an iPhone rip-off? Do you realize how silly that sounds?

      1. Did you just admit to having an Android? You automatically lose all points your comment may have provided. Besides, they are slavish copiers! You are just as bad as Haagle and ShameScam because you actually bought their products. Are you going to decorate your double wide with badly scanned Jackson Pollock paintings from the Internet to seem as “hip” as a city slicker?

        1. Wow dude, grow up. If I only ate caviar every day it would get boring. Lol.

          Btw, not that it matters but, it’s my wife’s phone and the family tablet. It’s silly to think you can only have Apple tech in the household. That’s SO narrow minded. Also, not that this really matters either but, they’re both Motorolla devices. But having them around has made me appreciate Apple tech much more.

          So continue to swim in your shallow little world, too bad you give Apple users a bad name. I have to wonder about your immaturity level with your oh so clever spellings of Google and Samsung. Quite ingenious..

  2. Shut up you “Flloyd” rip-off (never thought I would say that). You are just as bad as ScamShame or Gaagle. I bet you sent that from AndroiOS 7, or worse, and Android itself! Go away, and leave me alone.

  3. Stop blaming Apple, you asswipe ‘authorities’. Better you get off you no good lazy sphincter and catch the bad guys. Waahhhh, waaahhhh, Apple is the problem, wahhhhh. Sound like a bunch of asswipe libs.

    1. Like the Republicans are any better? You elephants got us into Iraq because DubYa stupidly believed that the iRaqis had anything to do with 9/11. Judging by your intelligence, you must be an Android settler.

  4. I think this whole barrage over the appointed judicial officials completely misses the point.

    While it is true that thieves will be thieves, the emergence of “Apple Picking” (stealing mobile Apple gear due to high resale value) brought very new class of thieves, thanks to the extremely low barrier of entry. The professionals in the criminal underworld will undoubtedly move elsewhere once they realise those Apple devices are rendered useless after theft. However, a considerable number of those “Apple Pickers” are amateurs, so to speak. These are kids from bad neighbourhoods who would have otherwise never ventured into the world of crime, had it not become just too easy to snatch an iPhone or iPod.

    I have no doubt that this will reduce the overall crime rate; not just re-assign those thieves to some other targets.

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