With recent and ongoing research and statistics showing that activation locks on phones and tablets has in many cases reduced the theft of the devices, is it time to consider this same technology for other devices?
I would argue that whilst technically it is ready and suitable for use in the wild, and there are certainly technologies out there that do similar things it is time this technology became installed on other devices. I mean think about it, just about all modern devices have a computer in it of some sort, everything from the brand new smart TV, to the washing machine. With the increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT) these devices are also becoming connected to the wider world, in fact many of the “smart” gadgets such as TV’s, BluRay players and PVR’s already have internet accessibility. It is on these devices that I would advocate we should start installing activation lock technology, as not only are these the main target of the thieves but with their inherent desire to be connected to the internet it would allow you to put it into a lost/stolen mode and when it connects it locks out. Obviously you would want this to display a message and some basic information. So it can be returned to the owners.
Further to this having an independent clearing house for this, so all your devices and use it under a single log-in would be ideal as you can then lock one or more devices with one control interaction rather than having to go to each manufacturers or partner groups page to block devices. As time goes on this could then of course be rolled out to more and more devices, thereby making it harder and harder for thieves to steal anything with electronics in it and the activation tech.
Further to this thing such as device encryption could then be placed in using this tech again similar to what is already available on phones and tablets this would allow devices that store data (almost all of them these days in some form or another) to be securely erased (wipe the encryption key, wipe access to the data) to prevent identity theft and other malicious use of private data (you do have an ENCRYPTED backup though right)
This definitly will not happen overnight, if at all due to the competing methodologies, standards and the companies unwillingness to work together to make a standard. I can dream though can’t I