I left my iPad Air 2 and a case in the glove compartment of Hertz rental car. I am a loyal Hertz customer but this is the second time I have left something of value in the car only to see it disappear very quickly after the car was returned. They told me lost and found was closed when I returned shortly after I realized it was missing. They said come back in the morning, which I did to find they couldn’t find the item. Yes, there is tracking on the iPad. Yes it was enabled. But as you might imagine, thieves are smart and when they steal an iOS device, they immediately shut it down.
Simple solution as proposed by Neil Holmquist, VP of Cloud & IP at Spirent? Ask for a password before the device is allowed to shutdown. This can be user-configured but the result would be the device will be traceable until the battery runs out. In fact, if Apple was to go one step further it can enable a lost-mode where the device has its location tracked the entire time it is missing. This information can be stored as web video with a link which can be sent to law enforcement.
It’s my fault for leaving the device in the car – I take responsibility. But rental car companies should be better at returning valuables to their customers. They should have more undercover operations where they return cars with valuables to see if they get taken and fire and prosecute those who steal.
BTW, in partial defense of Hertz, they tell me they use a third-party to move the returned vehicles – one person at the company told me they sometimes employ “shady” people – whatever that means. Actually, when I think about it, I guess I do know what it means.
I leave you with a few thoughts. Please be careful when checking out of hotel rooms and returning rental cars. Finally, although Apple and Google have done an admirable job of enabling their devices to be tracked to reduce theft, much more needs to be done. An even more interesting idea is to allow devices once authenticated by SIM on a network to still send location data once a SIM card is removed. This would require carrier involvement but would be a big benefit to customers who might even pay $0.99+/month for such a service which would ensure they can track their stolen or lost property.