Google to Deploy New Theft Protection Features for Android

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At Google I/O this week, the company announced a plethora of new theft protection features, ranging from features that will hopefully prevent and deter theft from taking place, to changes designed to make a thief’s newly stolen property more difficult to wipe and sell.

Before Theft Happens: Google details that a factory reset upgrade is coming to Android, making it more difficult for thieves to quickly wipe a device and then attempt to resell it. Detailed in a full blog post on the new features, “If a thief forces a reset of the stolen device, they’re not able to set it up again without knowing your device or Google account credentials. This renders a stolen device unsellable, reducing incentives for phone theft.”

Also changed, when a user disables Find My Device or extends the screen timeout, you’ll be required to have a PIN, password, or biometric authentication. This is an added layer of security that should prevent thieves from keeping the device unlocked or untrackable.

According to Google, factory reset protection updates and Private Space will be released as part of Android 15. Enhanced authentication protections will be released to select devices later this year.

Shown in the video above, an AI-powered screen lock is being added called Theft Detection Lock. It uses AI to sense if someone has snatched your phone from your hand and tries to run, bike, or drive away. “If a common motion associated with theft is detected, your phone screen quickly locks – which helps keep thieves from easily accessing your data,” Google explains.

This particular feature is coming to all Android 10+ devices via a Google Play services update later this year.

Remote Lock: In the near future, Android 10+ device owners will be able to lock the screen of the device with just a phone number and security challenge. This is expected to buy the device owner time to recover account details and other helpful options in Find My Device, which includes a full factory reset signal to wipe the device remotely.

Phone thieves suck.

// Google



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