New York Legislators Propose Law to Reduce Black Market for Mobile Devices

By: Absolute Team | 10/22/2013

New York State Senate Co-Leader Jeffrey Klein and Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, Chair of the Assembly's Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, just introduced new legislation aimed at reducing mobile theft in New York City. The legislation would require retailers to prove that they are the rightful owners of the phones they sell, hoping to curtail the local black market for these devices. Non-compliant retailers could face hefty fines or jail time in addition to any legal ramifications associated with existing laws on buying and selling stolen electronics.

These lawmakers hope that this new legislation would cut off demand for stolen devices from common local retailers including neighborhood stores, laundromats, flea market stands and bodegas.

"The goal of this legislation is to scare black market retailers out of this terrible business. If you’re a retailer making a few extra bucks by selling stolen phones, you’re now going to think twice before you open up your wallet and pay one of these criminals. I have had someone killed in my district over an iPhone. That is as bad as it gets. But it’s an epidemic across this city and we can’t wait any longer to take meaningful action." - Sen. Jeffrey Klein

The legislation would require retailers to provide detailed receipts for every phone sold, including the serial number. It is hoped that these records could provide additional information on how and where stolen phones move in the marketplace.

Although this could make the sale of stolen mobile phones locally more difficult, we don't believe it will diminish the demand for stolen devices. We have seen contrary information indicating that the majority of stolen devices are now being shipped internationally, indicating that local legislation won't be adequate to address a global issue.

Currently, LoJack for Mobile Devices is the only solution in the marketplace that offers a hardware and software solution that can survive a hard reset, wipe or factory reset that is common before mobile devices are shipped abroad. Backed by the Absolute Investigations and Recovery Services team, we offer the industry's only service-based solution committed to tracking down stolen devices and working with local police departments. To date, we have made recoveries in more than 100 countries (and counting).

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