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UK Police Want Phones Locked Pre Sale

Mobile phone security is becoming ever more important as more and more personal information is becoming stored on personal devices. Additionally, as online services such as Google consolidate accounts under one password, the chance of losing personal data is increasing, especially if a phone is lost or stolen.

Touch ID is a good feature from Apple that the Metropolitan Police should be happy is in use.

Recently, the UK Metropolitan Police in London have been pushing for brand new mobile phones to include passwords and pin codes procedures out of the box. Their recommendation also asks that password protecting devices become a mandatory procedure as soon as they’re available in store.

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Senior officials and officers from the little known National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, a fairly new organisation within UK police forces, have been doing the rounds with large companies such as Apple and Samsung to see if they can get their phones locked in a more reliable manner.

Their ide basically means that when a phone is sold it will already be locked, and a pre set pin code will be issued to the customer on sale of the device. This means devices stolen ‘off the back of a lorry’ i.e. before sale, could not then be used by thieves or sold on.

“We are trying to get [passwords] to be set as a default on new phones, so that when you purchase it you will physically have to switch the password off, rather than switch it on,” Said a NMPCU spokesperson in an interview with The Register.

“Stop right there mate, your phone isn’t secure!”

Thomas Labarthe, the managing director of a prominent phone security firm Lookout, chimed in with his thoughts on the ongoing issue of mobile phone security.

“I expect to see more manufacturers adopt what Apple has done with TouchID.”
“Phone theft needs to be tackled from multiple angles to really put a damper on the smartphone black market. The goal is to make it harder for the bad guys to profit from stealing phones.”

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The talks between UK law enforcement and phone companies on the subject of mobile phone security have apparently been in progress for over two years, but it seems today the idea is taking off. Samsung themselves have confirmed that they are in the process of working in conjunction with the Home Office on the phone locking situation.

Hopefully we should see new phones locked in an easy to get around manner when we buy them soon. They’d better make it easy to get them unlocked the first time though…

Source: The Register

Via: Telecom Paper