There’s a lot to consider when buying a new device, but once you’ve purchased one you want to make sure you hold on to it, right? That’s particularly true since today’s smartphones are probably the most personal devices we own. They’re so much more capable than ever before and contain a lot of personal information, making security and peace-of-mind increasingly important. That’s the primary motivation behind a bill recently introduced by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), which is designed to combat cellphone theft by imposing a five year criminal penalty for tampering with the unique identification number of a cellphone.
MyWireless.org is an avid supporter of pro-consumer legislation, such as the Wireless Tax Fairness Act and the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act, and Senator Schumer’s proposal is another positive step toward protecting wireless users. There’s already been significant activity regarding cellphone security. In April, the major cellphone carriers and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced their agreement to set up an integrated database of unique cellphone identifiers, or International Mobile Equipment Identify (IMEI) numbers. The Schumer bill in the Senate would enhance the effectiveness of the database by cracking down on thieves and adding a criminal penalty for tampering with IMEI numbers. MyWireless.org appreciates the Senator’s interest in standing up for wireless consumers, and supports efforts to penalize those who try to do them harm.
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