Apple's new "activation lock" feature has not escaped notice by the attorneys general of New York City and San Francisco. The pair, scheduled to meet
later this week in New York City with Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft to discuss rampant smartphone theft in the two cities have issued a statement, taking a guardedly optimistic stance toward the new feature.
The activation lock feature completely prevents the use of the phone following theft if the user chooses to disable the handset remotely using the "Find my iPhone" set of features. The device is totally locked down until the original user reenters both the registered iCloud user name and password.
In a statement after the iOS 7 feature's reveal, Attorney General Schneiderman, and District Attorney Gascon stated that "'Apple Picking' is a huge epidemic in the United States. We are appreciative of the gesture made by Apple to address smartphone theft. We reserve judgment on the activation lock feature until we can understand its actual functionality. We look forward to having a substantive conversation with Apple and other manufacturers at our Smartphone Summit on Thursday. We are hopeful that the cell phone industry will imbed persistent technology that is free to consumers that will make a phone inoperable once stolen, even if the device is off, the SIM card is removed, or the phone is modified by a thief to avoid detection."
The topic of discussion will be how to convince mobile hardware and software developers to help stem the tide of cellphone thefts
in both cities, often ending in violence. No wireless carriers will be in attendance. The meeting will take place in New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office.