Bryan Cohen Jun. 11, 2013, 6:48pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón issued a response Monday to Apple's announcement of increased security features in iOS7, the company's new mobile operating system.

Last week, Schneiderman and Gascón announced they would convene a Smartphone Summit on Thursday to address the epidemic of violent street crimes known as Apple Picking. Throughout the U.S., violent mobile phone theft is up. With most phones, thieves are able to wipe the memories clean on the devices and resell them for hundreds of dollars on the secondary market.

Schneiderman and Gascón praised Apple for addressing smartphone theft, but they reserved judgment until they could understand the functionality of the feature.

"'Apple Picking' is a huge epidemic in the United States," Schneiderman and Gascón said. "We are appreciative of the gesture made by Apple to address smartphone theft. We reserve judgment on the activation lock feature until we can understand its actual functionality. We look forward to having a substantive conversation with Apple and other manufacturers at our Smartphone Summit on Thursday. We are hopeful that the cell phone industry will imbed persistent technology that is free to consumers that will make a phone inoperable once stolen, even if the device is off, the SIM card is removed, or the phone is modified by a thief to avoid detection."

Schneiderman and Gascón will meet with the four largest players in the smartphone industry during the summit.

According to Apple's website, the new operating system will require a user ID and password to turn off the Find My iPhone program, erase the device or reactivate the device. The Find My iPhone program also will be equipped with a feature to display a custom message, even after the device is erased.

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