A high tech way to stop crime?

The Globe and Mail has this:

With police urging iPod users to be wary of would-be muggers in the face of what some call an "epidemic" of thefts, questions are being raised about whether manufacturers could be doing more to secure the devices.

While iPod maker Apple Inc., has moved in recent years to help customers secure the data on their music players and the company's popular iPhone, some observers wonder whether the manufacturers are exploiting available technology to combat gadget theft.

One of the first things Apple encourages new iPod owners to do is register it through the company's iTunes music service. During the registration process, Apple asks the user to input the serial number of the iPod as well as personal information such as their name and address.

Apple stores this information on its servers so that it can recognize an individual's iPod. When a user buys a new song or video, Apple requests credit-card information associated with the iPod account.

This access to information has led some members of the technology and law-enforcement communities to ask: Why can't Apple do more to locate stolen iPods?

"We're at an age now with all this technology, including iPods, where it all calls home to the mother ship," said Marc Hinch, a police officer from California who founded the site stolenipod.com, where theft victims can post the serial numbers of their missing devices in the hopes that someone will return them.

"When you plug that iPod into iTunes, it's calling home to Apple," he said.

There are about 1,000 stolen iPods listed on Mr. Hinch's website and as many as 10 new ones are added every day. And, many more can be found on sites such as craigslist.com and trace.com. . . .

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Blogger Ken said...

You might be interested in GadgetTrak ( www.gadgettrak.com ) they have software you install on all types of devices including iPods that enable them to phone home.

11/17/2008 4:56 PM  
Blogger DJK said...

The only caveat to software like Gadget Track is that you have to 1. install it before they're stolen and 2. trick the thief into activating it or executing the file on the device.

Granted, most of them would be stupid enough to do so...

11/19/2008 12:23 PM  

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