TechGoogle unveils AI Theft Detection Lock to combat smartphone theft

Google unveils AI Theft Detection Lock to combat smartphone theft

Google unveils AI Theft Detection Lock to combat smartphone theft
Images source: © East News | Marek BAZAK/East News

9:03 AM EDT, May 16, 2024

Google is stepping up its game in the fight against brazen smartphone theft by developing additional security features aimed at making the lives of thieves more difficult. Among these new measures is an AI-based Theft Detection Lock.
Nowadays, losing a phone means much more than just parting with an expensive gadget. Our smartphones contain bank apps, home monitoring tools, emails, and applications for managing home networks and devices. The loss can be deeply impactful, particularly when a phone is snatched unexpectedly from our hands on the street.
In several Western European cities, the theft of electric bicycles and motorcycles has become rampant. Google aims to tackle this issue by introducing new functions to the Android system. These features were unveiled at the Google I/O 2024 conference and are slated for release later this year.

The Detection Lock - Google's anti-theft solution

One of the key innovations is a Theft Detection Lock system powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). This system is capable of detecting sudden, unusual movements indicative of theft, such as the phone being snatched from one’s hand and the thief moving quickly in the opposite direction. Upon detecting such behavior, the smartphone automatically locks, thus thwarting the thief’s access to the user's data.

More anti-theft features

Google is not stopping with just one feature. To further deter the reselling of stolen smartphones, the tech giant is rolling out additional security measures, including Offline Device Lock and Factory Reset Protection.
Offline Device Lock is designed to lock the phone if it is deliberately disconnected from the network or if there are multiple failed authentication attempts. Factory Reset Protection prevents a thief from resetting the device to its factory settings without the Google account details. Both the Theft Detection Lock and Offline Device Lock will be accessible on devices running Android 10 and newer versions. However, the enhanced lock function that activates before a factory reset will only be available on Android 15.
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