Officials have previously called on Apple and Google to add additional security features in their mobile operating systems that would prevent criminals from being able to use stolen devices. Apple on Monday announced a completely revamped version of iOS at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The operating system includes many new features such as “Activation Lock,” which will prevent an iPhone or iPad from being activated if a thief attempts to wipe the device. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have voiced their support for the feature and look forward to seeing it in action.
“We are appreciative of the gesture made by Apple to address smartphone theft. We reserve judgment on the activation lock feature until we can understand its actual functionality,” the prosecutors said in a joint statement, according to The Associated Press.
According to information from the Federal Communications Commission, almost a third of all robberies in the United States involve some sort of mobile phone. The New York Police Department previously noted that crimes involving Apple products have increased by 40% over the past year. In fact, iPhone thefts were found to be the reason New York City’s crime rate increased for the first time in 20 years in 2012.
“We are hopeful that the cellphone industry will embed persistent technology that is free to consumers that will make a phone inoperable once stolen, even if the device is off, the SIM card is removed or the phone is modified by a thief to avoid detection,” the prosecutors said.