05-03-2011 10:43 AM
my iphone 4 was lost or stolen on sunday 27th of feb. i got the sim blocked on the 28th. i have since had my vodafone acount transfered to another sim which i am currently using.
i did not have any phone tracking apps installed.
i have spoken with the police about this and i understand that as the imei number is registered with vodafone, they can tell if the phone is being used, regardless of which sim is used and even if it is with another provider (eg o2).
the fact that the phone has built in GPS (which i presume is directly linked to the phone) should make this task all the easier.
can anyone confirm whether the above is true?
i know that giving out info about another account which is using the phone (ie someone else puts their sim in) is against some data protection law but i just want to knowwhether the phone is being used, i dont need any info about who is using it.
its obvious why vodafone and apple would not be pro-active in tracking stolen devices but if it is being used by someone then this is a criminal offence.
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05-03-2011 10:48 AM
Hiya, if your phone is IMEI blocked then it will not be able to be used on any UK network. I think it would def be in the interest of insurance and so on to recover stolen phones, otherwise they need to be replaced and there is no recovery value (unless item is found).
I would call and make sure that the IMEI has been blocked, also if you did not have insurance on your account, check your household insurance as it "may" cover it
05-03-2011 10:56 AM
thanks for the reply.
im claiming under house insurance but thats not really the point.
the sim is blocked but the imei is not (yet).
my prefered choice is to recover the iphone.
the easiest and quickest to do this now would be for someone to use it and for vodafone and police to help me track it.
this is what i am interested in.
05-03-2011 11:02 AM
I do see where you are coming from, but this can be time consuming and decisions are based on making the phone inoperable and the cost of a company or the police chasing it.
I do take your point but its a commercial decision, that it is cheaper to have a system of stopping the phone being used in the uk and beyond and paying out for it. The phone could anywhere and if it wasn't switched on then you would not be able to track it
07-03-2011 11:21 PM - edited 07-03-2011 11:21 PM
When you compare the recovery costs with the value of the phone it will not be worth all the effort that you are expecting Vodafone and police to go to + if the handset was to be used they would only be able to track it to the cell tower it connected to, that could narrow the search to only a few thousand suspects.
When you get a replacement iphone it would be worth enabling the 'findmyiphone' service that apple provide as part of the me.com suite, more info http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/find-my-iphon
09-03-2011 01:33 AM
To be honest with you, it is very unlikely that we would be able to pinpoint exactly where a handset is being used as the closest we could get this would be to the nearest mast however to do this we would require the mobile number of the SIM in the phone and it would need to be a Vodafone number and even then there is a data protection issue as we would not be able to tell you as it is not your number being used.
It is an awkward one and would advise looking at the find my iPhone app in future however we wouldn't be able to track you lost one for you.
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11-03-2011 09:25 PM
thanks for the reply.
i know that vodafone would not be able to give me info about the account using the phone but they should tell me whether it is being used (i dont see any data protection issues here as no personal info is being divulged). once this is established, it confirms that a criminal offence has occured. at this stage the police could ask for call records including numbers being called which would make tracking the device a lot easier.
i presume that apps like find my iphone use the fact that the gps device in the phone has a unique identifier associating it to the phone. why would you even need to have this app installed to make that association? surely there is a database which holds this info already which can be used to pin point the device? therefore this can be used to track any phone regardless of installed apps.
lastly, i fear that any criminal who is an experienced iphone seller would simply turn the phone off upon aquiring it and then hack it in order to wipe the device which would render the app useless. this is common knowledge even amongst law adibing users who choose not to do this to their phones, never mind people who's illegal enterprise would substantially benefit from this action.
i will definetly install the app on my replacement phone but i dont hold much hope of it being any use in the event of another theft.
i find that the support offered by phone service providers and apple themselves in these cases is virtually useless although i suspect that the effort involved in tracking these devices would be minimal.
i dont single vodafone out in this but it comes across as another form of corporate greed. ie this inaction results in more phones being purchased and insurance premiums growing as the theft of these phones becomes easier to get away with and therefore increases in frequency. only the customer stands to lose out.
11-03-2011 10:22 PM
If it is a small crumb of comfort the 'Find my phone' app is now free and does not have to be purchased as part of the 'Mobile me' suite.
However as the app can be disabled simply by removing the sim card having insurance on the phone is still the safest bet. Whilst you can locate or wipe the information on your phone from another device if the finder/thief turns it off and removes the sim then there is nothing you can do via the app to recover it or wipe your information.