Canada’s Wireless Industry Launches Stolen Device Blacklist

by Istvan Fekete on October 1, 2013

A year after announcing the initiative, the national blacklist of stolen wireless devices has finally launched. As announced, the Canadian wireless carriers committed to implementing the blacklist to assist law enforcement agencies with their efforts to combat the theft of wireless devices.

Beginning today, the authorization of any GSM, HSPA, HSPA+ or LTE wireless device on any participating Canadian carrier’s network will include verification that the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of the device has not been reported as lost or stolen on that network or any other participating Canadian network as of September 30, 2013. The blacklist will also include devices that have been reported as lost or stolen by US carriers that are connected to the GSMA IMEI Database.

“Canadians are among the world’s fastest adopters and heaviest users of sophisticated smartphones,” said CWTA President & CEO Bernard Lord. “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.”

Alongside the database launch, the ProtectYourData.ca website also offers tips for making your valuable handset more secure. Under the Protect Your Data section, visitors have access to a checklist of how to secure their data and a resources section with specific links to more information related to their carrier. The latter is a collection of useful links to help you keep your personal data safe: BlackBerry owners will find a link to the company website’s security section, Android remote wipe; how to unlock the screen remotely on a Samsung device; a link to Apple ID Support; and, of course, a link to the carrier’s support section in case your device is lost or stolen.

Since protecting your data also involves protecting yourself, the website also provides information gathered from Canadian law enforcement agencies on how to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of personal robbery.

Starting September 30, you can check the status of your device up to twice a day in Canada by simply entering the 15 digit IMEI number. When a GSM, HSPA, or LTE wireless device is reported to a participating wireless carrier as lost or stolen, that device’s unique IMEI number will be added to a shared national blacklist. Any device appearing on the Blacklist will be blocked, and none of the participating Canadian carriers will allow it to be used on their networks.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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