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oregonjoe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi, I just submitted an enhancement request to Apple and thought I might share it to see what others think.  When an iPhone is stolen the first thing a thief will do is turn it off so that it can't be tracked via Find My Phone.  A solution to that would be to require a passcode to turn off your device.  That way the thief would have no choice but to risk carrying the on and gps-tracked phone around until he/she is able to get it to the Thief Hideout (where they somehow reset the phone), being tracked all the way.

 

What do you guys think?  Maybe if more people submit the same request, Apple might be more compelled to implement it in their next update.  I don't know anything about programming, but it sounds like a pretty easy addition.


iPhone 4S, iOS 7.0.4
  • Meg St._Clair Level 8 Level 8 (46,860 points)

    Seriously bad idea. Suppose the touch screen isn't working and you need to reset the phone?

  • oregonjoe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    That's a good point, Meg, but I think hard resets are fine without a passcode because the phone will inevitably give its GPS location when it restarts.  It's turning off the phone completely that we want to prevent, which as far as I know isn't possible if your screen isn't working anyway.  And even if the thief tried to constantly hard reset the phone over and over, it would still be able to give his/her location every couple minutes or so (in between each reset), which would make him/her very easy to track.

  • Meg St._Clair Level 8 Level 8 (46,860 points)

    oregonjoe wrote:

     

    That's a good point, Meg, but I think hard resets are fine without a passcode because the phone will inevitably give its GPS location when it restarts.  It's turning off the phone completely that we want to prevent, which as far as I know isn't possible if your screen isn't working anyway.  And even if the thief tried to constantly hard reset the phone over and over, it would still be able to give his/her location every couple minutes or so (in between each reset), which would make him/her very easy to track.

    I think you missed the important point. Under your suggestion, you wouldn't be able to reset the device without a passcode. Resetting is frequently done when there is a problem with the phone, including and unresponsive touch screen. That would be a touchscreen on which it was impossible to enter a passcode.

  • oregonjoe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Maybe I wasn't clear in my last comment.  After your advice, I refined my suggestion to say that only turning OFF the device should require a passcode.  I agree that a passcode cannot and should not be required to HARD RESET the device (holding down the power and home buttons simultaneously).  Does that make sense?  Or am I missing something?

  • ChrisJ4203 Level 8 Level 8 (41,460 points)

    A small piece of aluminum foil will defeat the device, or a small lead lined zipper bag, the type photographers use when going through airport xray will accomplish the same as powering off the device. You can also use a paper clip to remove the SIM card which will effectively disable Internet access for the device and disable Find My iPhone.

     

    No disrespect intended here, but you are not the first, and will not be the last to suggest a passcode to power the phone off. No matter what anyone suggests, determined thiefs will find a way around it.

  • oregonjoe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yeah, I see there are one or two threads about this.  I couldn't find them before I posted, but their links showed up on the side after I posted this...

     

    It's true, determined thieves can't be thwarted.  They always have their tricks.  But there's the lower tier of thieves, the unprepared not-so-smart opportunistic ones (and there are a lot of those), that a passcode would definitely help thwart.  And if something as easy as requiring a passcode to turn off the phone would at least prevent some of these kinds of thefts, it seems well worth it.

  • ChrisJ4203 Level 8 Level 8 (41,460 points)

    Compared to other manufacturers I believe Apple has done a great deal, considering the new Activation Lock. It has been interesting since the rise of smartphone thefts (an I don't just mean the iPhone) that consumers believe it is imperative that device manufactures provide some way to not only track stolen devices but do something to prevent thefts and do things to prevent thieves from being able to do something with the devices. Consumers are not even that diligent about this with automobiles and we pay 30 times as much for a car. Of course, I have less than an optimistic view of this after retiring from law enforcement after 30 years.

  • The GreatGondorf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just had this happen to me and the police seemed to think that this step would be a good thing.  I agree that we have to take a certain responsibility, but these phones are £100s of pounds of tech and getting more intrinsic to our lifestyles so carried everywhere therefore it's pretty important we make their theft as unappealing and unprofittable to criminals as we can.  If not then the risks these scumbags will take will increase as the rewards will be higher.

     

    Part of the problem is the lack of prosecution for snatches, not classified as robbery as it's non violent.  If it's taken directly from you then this should be considered a theft, nonsense semantics.

     

    The policeman I spoke with was similarly pessimistic ChrisJ4203...

  • cjp240 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yesterday my wife lost her iPhone 5S on 21st st. in Manhattan. It was in a small bag she was carrying.  She definitely dropped it, it wasn't stolen by a trained thief. She immediately called me hysterically from her work cell phone to track it. Unfortunately it was turned off by the person who "found it" and wasn't showing up on "Find My iPhone".  This was a low level thief who I believe had no intention of returning it because he never would have turned it off to begin with.  I Immediately called Apple and they told me to put the phone in "Lost Mode", which supposedly renders the phone useless to most potential thieves.  About an hour later, on "Find My iPhone", it showed up in the Bronx and I got a phone call from him about 2 hours later wanting to return the phone. I believe had there not been a passcode on the phone and "Lost Mode" wasn't turned on, I would never have seen that phone again!!!! He saw the phone was frozen and realized he better cash in a tip from the owner or was scared of being tracked!!!  So I do think there should be an option for users, included in the software, that allows you to require a passcode to turn off the iPhone.  I believe there are a lot of low level thieves that would be deterred by this.

     

    My wife still tipped the guy, since she DID get the phone back and I have no real proof that he would have stolen it!!!

  • TJBUSMC1973 Level 5 Level 5 (7,310 points)

    Sorry, but requiring a passcode to turn off the iPhone is a colossally stupid idea.

     

    Just search this forum for 'forgotten passcode' or 'forgotten password', and you'll see how common it is for someone to forget their passcode.  And the normal lock passcodes are used multiple times a day, and people still forget them.  Think about how infreuently people turn OFF their iPhone anyways, and that passcode would be used even less, and be even more easily forgotten.

     

    And since turning off the device is part of BASIC TROUBLESHOOTING, it would put a huge roadblack to troubleshooting basic issues.

     

    And as far as detering theives?  Sorry, but while turning off the iPhone does interfere with Find My iPhone by blocking internet access, so to does removing the battery, removing the SIM card and not being connected to wi-fi, or placing the iPhone in a container or area that blocks transmissions.

     

    Requiring a passcode to turn off the device will not solve anything, and will cause many, many, MANY more problems.

  • cjp240 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I did not say it had to be REQUIRED, if you actually read my story.  Just like "Find My iPhone" is not REQUIRED to be ON!!!! The user has a CHOICE whether or not to use that feature!!!  I said it would be nice for it to be an OPTION/CHOICE for the users who want it or not. It's not for EVERYONE!!!

  • TJBUSMC1973 Level 5 Level 5 (7,310 points)

    cjp240 wrote:

     

    I did not say it had to be REQUIRED, if you actually read my story.  Just like "Find My iPhone" is not REQUIRED to be ON!!!! The user has a CHOICE whether or not to use that feature!!!  I said it would be nice for it to be an OPTION/CHOICE for the users who want it or not. It's not for EVERYONE!!!

     

    Even allowing such an option is a very bad move, and it would not solve the issue.  If you had read my post, you'd see why.

     

    Why do you want a passcode option for turning off an iPhone?  To prevent people from interfering with Find My iPhone.

     

    Why is that not a solution?  Because Find My iPhone can be 'disabled' by means other than turning the device off. 

     

    There is no legitimate or logical reason for such a feature to be enabled, and there are multiple legitimate and logical reasons why such a feature should not be available, ever.

     

    People forget their passcodes all the time.  Anything that prevents normal troubleshooting of a device is a bad idea.

  • ImalwAysright Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    TJB if I had to guess I would say you are one of those people who forgets your pass code.

     

    If the phone is pass coded to access the phone on a regular basis why would you forget it. Also why would it be a horrible idea to use that same pass code to turn the phone off, oh right because you forgot it.

     

    Here is my point, if you always use a pass code to access your phone a would be thief would not be able to turn off Find My Phone and if that same pass code was used to turn off the phone they would always be at risk of being tracked. 

     

    Now just because you choose not to protect your phone or your personal information gives you know right to assume an idea is stupid.

  • cjp240 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I totally understand your point of people forgetting passwords and it's a good one!!!

    But then why even have them to enter the phone??? I think that is a very small percentage of users.

    I don't have an answer but I am looking for dialogue to help users find their phone in that 1st critical 1/2 hour when they lose it!!  Yeah, you can take the battery out and whatever but that is by an advanced thief!!!

    I think the guy who found my wifes phone is a much more common scenario as far as people LOSING phones.

    Someone who STEALS a phone is going to be more advanced. 

     

     

    I think there should be a way right now for phone users to be better protected against theft.

    Maybe have an option for the user to have tracking on, via wifi or cellular, that can't be turned off if the user chooses??  Even with the phone off, if that can be technologically possible???? 

     

    There has to be a better way for Apple or any other phone company to track these devices.

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