FCC announces PROJECTS Initiative to fight cellphone theft
On Tuesday, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its PROJECTS Initiative --- a three-point plan aimed at fighting cell phone thefts, which comprise nearly 40 percent of all robberies in Washington, D. C., New York and other major cities of the country.
For the anti-theft initiative, the FCC will be supported by mobile phone manufacturers - including Apple, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Nokia, and Microsoft - as well as service providers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Nex-Tech Wireless.
The first step of the FCC's three-point anti-theft initiative will involve the setting up of a massive universal database, which will essentially enable the carriers to automatically disable cellphones as well as wireless-enabled tablets which have been reported as `stolen.' According to the Commission, the setting up of such a database will help bring about a dramatic reduction in the value of stolen devices to the would-be buyers.
Secondly, in a move which will apparently make users more security-conscious, the FCC wants that cell phone manufacturers should program devices in such a way that they automatically prompt users to create passwords and take other necessary steps towards the protection of their personal information.
And, lastly, the third point in the FCC's plan involves a widespread public education program which will make mobile-device owners aware of the availability of mobile apps that facilitate remote locking and deletion of contents of stolen phones and tablets.
Announcing the PROJECTS initiative, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the move will send across "a message to criminals that we're cracking down on the stolen phone."