For recent iPhone releases at Apple stores in the New York area police have been posted up to register peoples phones. As usual, the excuse is that this will be a measure to keep us safe, or to keep our property safe if it happens to be lost or stolen. In a statement to The Gothamist Police Commissioner Ray Kelly used just this excuse. He said:
“The theft of Apple phones and other hand-held devices drove the spike in robberies and larceny this year. Individuals alert to their surroundings are less likely to become victims, and Operation ID will help those whose property is lost or stolen to get it back.”
The “Operation ID” that he is referring to is a new data collecting initiative which encourages iPhone 5 owners to register their phone’s serial number, along with their name and contact information, with the police. The NYPD promoted the registry program at 21 Apples stores this Friday, including six in the city. The department also stationed officers at seven Verizon and eight AT&T stores.
There is a good chance that many people willingly handed over their information, but not everyone was convinced. While in line product manager Kaushal Sampattold a reporter from New Tech City Blog about how the problem could be handled without any police involvement. He said:
“It’s about time that all the carriers actually take command of the fact that they have unique IDs with their phones, and when phones are stolen, they should be off the market.”
It really would be that simple to take care of the problem, so why do the police need to be involved?
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