CIVIC CENTER — There should be an app for that.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio spoke out Monday to demand cellphone manufacturers do more to combat rising smartphone thefts, as the city saw thefts of Apple mobile devices alone jump by 40 percent over the past year, de Blasio said.
De Blasio appeared at a press conference Monday alongside State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who spearheads the Secure Our Smartphones (SOS) Initiative, which pushes manufacturers to develop better security features and make them free for customers.
“While some of these new anti-theft security features are encouraging — particularly Apple’s Activation Lock — we must do more,” de Blasio wrote in a letter to manufacturers released on Monday. “In order to be truly effective, these security features should be widely publicized and should not require customers to opt-in or pay.”
De Blasio said he'd like to see measures such as a South Korean law that mandates “kill switches” for devices to be permanently disabled should they be stolen.
SOS was created in June, amid a spike in cellphone thefts in New York City and around the nation.
“These crimes are fueling a secondary market that accommodates the resale of stolen phones,” de Blasio wrote. “More safeguards are needed to truly deter theft and thereby protect the safety of consumers.”