With every household possessing up to 7 smartphones, it is sure that either you or someone you know has faced the issue of cell phone theft. Whether you misplaced it somewhere or it was picked from your pocket on purpose, the number of mobile phones that are lost in a year is a very significant number. Therefore the Government has been trying to implement ways to protect your mobile from such theft. Let us now look at what you need to know about how the Government plans on helping you find lost smartphones.
What are the ways in which a SmartPhone theft can be a threat to society?
While everyone owns a mobile, it has become a real worry that the black market for such smartphones and its spare parts has encouraged the stealing of smartphone and its resale. The people who involve in such trades are equipped with a sound knowledge of electronic equipment and hacking. This could also lead to misuse of information present on the phone. In some cases, they also take the phone apart and sell the individual components as spare parts leading to low-quality spares in cell phone repair shops that may even introduce malware in other phones. In extreme cases, such thefts have to lead to identity thefts, blackmail, loss of money from bank accounts and even acts of terrorism.
What are the previously existing methods for you to find a lost phone?
There are two ways to find a cell phone if lost. One is through the use of the IMEI number and the other by tracing your sim card. But the problem with these existing methods is that as soon as your phone is stolen, their first act is to get rid of your sim card and then change the IMEI number so that it cannot be traced to you
How is the new system different from the old one?
The Government has come up with new technology to enable the tracking of stolen mobiles or lost mobiles. This system is said to work even if your sim card has been removed and your IMEI number changed
Who was this system developed by and when will this system be up and running?
This system was developed by the Department of Telematics also known as C-DOT. It was set up in India to facilitate the digital empowerment of the nation in the year 1984. The tracking project had been taken up by C-DOT since July 2017 and assigned to them by the Department of Telecommunications. (DOT) . The service is expected to be launched by C-DOT in August of the year.
How does it work with the mobile?
The project consists of a Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) which will store information regarding all phones that have been sold and are being used. No equipment can be bought or sold without first updating this repository.
How can the CEIR stop mobile thefts?
The CEIR’s primary aim will be to identify counterfeit cellphones. If the cell phone’s information does not tally with that of CEIR’s data, then it is considered counterfeit. Thus it can no longer be bought or sold. Thus it is expected to discourage the theft of cell phones. Once the CEIR system receives information on a stolen phone from a police station, it blocks all services to the mobile phone. The phone will effectively become useless on any network, irrespective of which sim card is inserted into the device. This is made possible even if the IMEI number of the equipment has been altered as all IMEI numbers of functional mobile phones are also available with the CEIR.
How does the CEIR communicate with the supply chain?
The CEIR will share information with various security personnel, telecom service providers and vendors to ensure that the equipment is blacklisted. Therefore it will be able to ensure the vendors do not receive or sell any of the blacklisted mobile . It also liaises with all the various service providers to ensure that a device which was blacklisted while working on one network, will not be able to switch to any other network as well.