According to a Canadian Press article in the Toronto Star, Mike Sullivan has proposed legislation that will make it illegal to tamper with the serial number of a mobile phone. The legislation targets criminals who receive large numbers of stolen phones and alter them (your average petty thief wouldn’t have a clue).
If your phone has been stolen, your provider can de-activate it because they know the serial number. Whether they would or not has been a whole other story. The serial number is written inside the phone’s memory at the factory and it can be changed by thieves with the right software and then presented to a provider as a legitimate phone. Apparently reports are surfacing of duplicate phone numbers courtesy of thieves changing serial numbers and re-selling the equipment. HubPages has a rundown of this and some the other issues involved.
This is a private member’s bill and as such must be supported by MPs from other parties in order to achieve a majority and become law. Quite often the majority party will vote against private member’s bills unless there is widespread public support. Whatever the outcome, it’s nice to see a York South-Weston politician moving forward with legislation that will make our streets safer. Well done Mr. Sullivan!