Stolen phones & tablets will soon be put in a national database - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Stolen phones and tablets will soon be put in a national database

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

Within six months, stolen phones and tablets can be entered into a national database, a blacklist, and be crippled remotely.

These gadgets are not only expensive, they're lockboxes for our most personal information, and they account for as much as forty percent of thefts reported in America's big cities.

"It's like draining the swamp to fight malaria." New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "What we are doing is drying up the market."

European carriers are already successfully using a similar system. The nation's five biggest carriers are on board with more to come.

"Out of the gate, north of ninety percent of consumers in the United States will be supported by this," Christopher Guttman McCabe with the wireless trade group said.

But this effort also includes an education program. For example, experts say if your cell phone is lost or stolen, your first step is to notify your carrier so they can stop service to your phone.

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