Theft of Digitally Equipt Security Features

I always wondered what happened to stolen items that have a digital tracking system. It seems that just reporting it to the police is not enough because they often do not have the time to track down miscellaneous claims of theft.

The NY Times published an article a few months ago which claims that many of the technology companies, specifically Amazon’s Kindle, whom sell services to track and/or shut down missing digital devises often do not follow through.  Other companies mentioned include Sirius XM Radio, eBay, and AT&T’s iPhone.

According to the article, many tech companies “will not disclose information about the new owners of missing devices unless a police officer calls with a search warrant. Even a request to simply shut down service — which would deter thieves by rendering their pilfered gadget useless — is typically refused…  Amazon’s policy is that it will help locate a missing Kindle only if the company is contacted by a police officer bearing a subpoena.”

So how does a customer evaluate the efficacy of a company’s claims?  And how would one get the statistics from these companies?  Security companies do not publish the number of thefts that are reported by their customers, nor do they freely release the number of digital devices they help retrieve or shut down.  They often rely on personal testimonies from their customers to brag about their products.

So before buying a digital product, check out the company’s policy on theft.

Read the original NY Times Article


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on December 22, 2009, in Tech Toys, Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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