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Released: July 28, 2014

FCC Consumer Advisory Committee

Recommendation Regarding stolen Mobile Devices

Wireless device theft -- and particularly smartphone theft -- is a pervasive and

devastating crime affecting millions of American consumers.

In response to the problem, industry, law enforcement and government have been

working on collaborative initiatives, such as the GSMA IMEI database, smartphone anti-theft

tools, and software based “kill switches,” to curtail the problem. We strongly support these


The Consumer Advisory Committee applauds the FCC for its efforts in working to

educate consumers about device theft and its recent workshop that convened stakeholders from

Congress, federal regulatory agencies, law enforcement, software developers, wireless carriers

and device manufacturers to examine the problem. We are encouraged by the formation of the

Mobile Device Theft Prevention Working Group and its goal of examining “multilayered”

solutions to mobile device theft.

The Consumer Advisory Committee recommends that the Federal Communications

Commission further address the significant problem of smartphone theft by:


refreshing its consumer education materials with regard to stolen smartphones to

educate consumers about new technologies and best practices in mobile device



coordinating carefully planned and funded Public Service Announcement

campaigns aimed at educating consumers on this issue in conjunction with DOJ

and local law enforcement agencies;


encouraging local law enforcement agencies to make greater use of existing

tools, such as the GSMA IMEI database;


carefully considering recommendations from the Mobile Device Theft Prevention

Working Group of the TAC and adopting policies as appropriate based on those



studying the scope of the overseas market for stolen mobile devices and

encouraging additional foreign carrier participation in the GSMA IMEI database;


collecting and publicly reporting quantifiable national crime data regarding

smartphone theft from DOJ and law enforcement; and


working with the GSMA to determine whether relevant trends on lost and stolen

mobile devices can be culled from the IMEI database over time.

Unanimously Adopted: July 25, 2014

Respectfully submitted:

Debra R. Berlyn, Chairperson

FCC Consumer Advisory Committee


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