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Home Secretary bigs up fingerprint-activated iPods

Jeesh Maria

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Home Secretary John Reid is asking Apple and Sony, and other manufacturers, to join his crime fighting summit.

The summit will look at what manufacturers can do to add "anti-crime" features to their products.

A Blair policy review, released last month, raised the red herring very clever plan of fingerprint-activated MP3 players - we explain why this is silly a great idea here. Street robberies rose slightly according to Home Office figures. iPods and expensive mobile phones are often blamed for fuelling this growth. iPods and expensive mobile phones are often blamed for fuelling this growth.

Reid, interviewed on Sunday AM, said new gadgets mean criminals move on to stealing new types of products. Which they might continue to do whether the Home Office legislates to make fingerprint-activation compulsory on mobile phones or not.

Asked for one peice of advice for young people carrying such devices Reid said: "The one piece of advice I'd offer is to manufacturers to help us in designing in features to reduce crime." Reid even name-checked the iPhone and said young people should, "Not just look at the call tones and the camera quality but ask how it can prevent people stealing and reselling it." Reid used the example of improvements in switching off stolen mobile phones.

A spokesman for the Home Office told Reuters: "We already have a close working relationship with mobile phone manufacturers. John Reid is likely to approach Apple and Sony in the coming weeks to join this summit."®

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