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Canadian Wireless Carriers Launch Stolen Cellphone Database; CRTC Applauds Move

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cwta protect yourself

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) and our wireless carriers have announced plans to launch a database to track devices to fight stolen phones from being resold and reused:

By September 30, 2013, the authorization of any GSM or LTE wireless device on any Canadian network will include verification that the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of the device has not been reported lost or stolen on any Canadian network, as well as some international networks that are available in the GSMA IMEI database.

This new device verification process, which will deny service to any device that is on the GSMA “blacklist”, is designed to help eliminate the black market for stolen devices in Canada and abroad by reducing the value of smartphones in the eyes of criminals.

Once a customer reports a lost or stolen cellphone to their carrier, the latter will add the device’s IMEI to the blacklist.

This is fantastic news for consumers as ‘iCrime’ related to stolen iPhones and other smartphones have dramatically risen over the years. Below is a video as part of a new website created to provide info on this new initiative from ProtectYourData.ca:

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued the following statement after hearing about the CWTA announcement: 

“Today, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) unveiled a series of initiatives to combat the black market for lost or stolen cellphones. On behalf of the CRTC, I would like to congratulate Bernard Lord, President and CEO of the CWTA, for having rallied the wireless industry around this important issue.

Do recall the CRTC Chairman threatened he would use regulations to force carriers to go through with a cellphone registry back in early October. Carriers argued the creation of a registry would be expensive and did not want to share proprietary handset info with each other. The U.S. launched their cellphone registry to protect consumers at the end of October.

Thoughts on the launch of this cellphone database to track lost or stolen phones?

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