Canada and its network of mobile service providers has launched a database of stolen and lost smartphones to curb the rising incidences of theft in the country. Essentially, any wireless device including cellphones and tablets that was reported lost or stolen may no longer be activated or reconnected.
All a consumer needs to do when his wireless device had been stolen or lost is to report its unique IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number to law enforcement agencies. This in turn will be reported into the database, prompting Canada's mobile service providers to take heed of the unit with the stolen IMEI number.
Any attempts to reconnect, use or have the smartphone reactivated will eventually become futile.
Canada Launches Database of Stolen, Lost Smartphone
"Canadians are among the world's fastest adopters and heaviest users of sophisticated smartphones," Bernard Lord, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) president and CEO, said in a statement. "Not only will this national blacklist help to make their smartphones a less valuable target for criminals, but the industry has also taken steps to help Canadian consumers identify if a pre-owned device has previously been reported as lost or stolen."
Moreover, Canadians who are out to purchase a new smartphone or wireless device may check if the gadget they are planning to buy has been reported stolen or lost. The Web site ProtectYourData.ca includes a convenient tool wherein Canadians only have to simply enter the IMEI number of a wireless device to find out if it has been blacklisted in Canada.
If the IMEI number has been blacklisted, that device will not be able to be used on any participating Canadian network. The consumer look-up feature, the first of its kind in the world that utilises the GSMA IMEI Database, will include blacklisted devices that have been reported as lost or stolen as of September 30, 2013 and beyond.
"This new system offers wireless subscribers a tremendously enhanced level of protection, by essentially making stolen handsets useless to the thief," Ed Antecol, VP Regulatory, WIND Mobile, said. "This is an important step forward in the fight against mobile phone theft and unauthorized use."
"Black-listing lost and stolen devices will essentially eliminate the black market for stolen devices in Canada and the U.S. by reducing the value of mobile devices for criminals," Ron Styles, SaskTel president and CEO, said.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail: