UK Home Office wants Apple's help against iPod crime

UK Home Secretary John Reid want Apple to help fight street crime by developing technologies for this in its iPod music players.

He plans to approach Apple (and Sony) to enlist their help in developing solutions to help end the scourge of iPod muggings, he said, speaking on BBC show, Sunday AM.

It's not an unusual move: mobile phone manufacturers already hold "close working relationships" with the Home Office to combat this, as reported by Reuters.

The UK government is drawing up a shortlist of MP3 player makers who it hopes to convince to take part in an anti-crime summit.

Street robberies climbed 8 per cent during the last 13 weeks of 2006, the report observes.

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As much as I detest the current government I don't think this is just about the headlines. It is common sense to work with companies to prevent crime, particularly with products as successful (and targeted by criminals/opportunists) as the iPod.

But what can Apple actually do? Phone companies can implement better systems for locking them if they've been stolen, but until Apple release the iPhone or when they make all their iPods phones (which won't happen), theres no way Apple can do anything like this...

'Sright. There isn't an IMEI number for an iPod and unless some password security rubbish is put into the firmware (which therefore can be reflashed) a MP3 player can't be "disabled".

As much as this might be a good idea, its still a headline grabber to avoid bigger issues. This government employs the same tactic all the time. As for an excuse to complain about the government, no one needs one, this is about the worst we've ever had.

ziadoz said,
As much as this might be a good idea, its still a headline grabber to avoid bigger issues. This government employs the same tactic all the time. As for an excuse to complain about the government, no one needs one, this is about the worst we've ever had.

That's funny, because Neowin is the first place I've heard about this. It's hardly drowning out discussion about education, health and immigration; unless you have a very narrow selection of sources.

Examinus said,
That's funny, because Neowin is the first place I've heard about this. It's hardly drowning out discussion about education, health and immigration; unless you have a very narrow selection of sources.

Nothing is stopping anyone from reading a broad selection of sources, but the fact is these headlines are pandering to an ever more celebrity and trash culture media. I don't have a problem with that kind of media, but I do with fact that governments target it with petty policy to make it seem like they're tackling the big issues when they're clearly not.

They should have serial numbers built in, which can be traced back to orginal owner via apple. So when police pull someone they can easily check if its stolen.
Sure there is immobilise, however most people don't know about it and havn't written down their serial prior to it being stolen.

Like most mobile phones, iPod and mp3 player thefts, they end up being exported abroad, mainly Eastern Europe and Africa.

Going to be hard to get them back.

Probably be better if eBay banned the sale of these devices as they are dropping in price very quickly.

So many issues with these devices I could cover, but probably most people know the issues already.

They need to start a new campaign. "Kill a Chav, save an iPod"

Seriously, you shouldn't really be walking around listening to music, oblivious to the world around you. People need to be aware of their surroundings. That is step 1 of self defense.

You should be able to walk around any town or city at anytime day or night and as long as you're minding your own business.

No-one should think they are above the law and think they can rob you.

It should not be this way.

I walked down my high street and saw some man with an iPod in one hand on his wrist an expensive watch and in his right hand an expensive mobile phone, this does not give me the right to rob him.

This is whats wrong with society, someone always has some lame excuse for criminal behaviour.

They could make it so you can report a stolen iPod to Apple and if it syncs with iTunes it will get disabled... Technically possible...

Agreed if you have registered your iPod with Apple and they have the serial then the next time it's used at a different PC and with iTunes it should get disabled.

creamhackered said,
Agreed if you have registered your iPod with Apple and they have the serial then the next time it's used at a different PC and with iTunes it should get disabled.

Criminals will always come up with a way around whatever anti-theft device you come up with if there's a big enough incentive for them to do so. You wanna make something truly theft-proof? Make it so cheap that nobody wants to buy a stolen one. Any other idea you come up with just challenges the criminals to be more creative.

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