Stolen cellphones will soon be rendered useless to thieves

Rebecca Harrington

Having your cellphone stolen is like having a piece of yourself stolen. As they get more high-tech, cellphones can store more personal information than ever.

Cellphones are also among the most stolen property in big cities, according to The Wall Street Journal. A new database created by the four major wireless providers (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile), law enforcement and the Federal Communications Commission will create a database that will track and deactivate stolen cellphones.

"Our goal is to make a stolen cellphone as worthless as an empty wallet,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., told The New York Times.

The wireless providers have the next six months to create their own components of the database, and then the next year to compile them into a national database.

Wireless providers expressed their support for the database, but were weary of the work it will take.

"We are working toward an industrywide solution to address the complexity of blocking stolen devices from being activated on ours or another network with a new SIM card," The Wall Street Journal reported T-Mobile said in a statement. "This is not a simple problem to solve."

Cellphone owners, however, can wait patiently until late 2013 to feel secure about their cellphones.