‘‘We could see a potential nightmare emerging,’’ Hayes said.
Jamie Hastings, a CTIA vice president, said the national stolen phone database is a step in the right direction and deserves a chance.
‘‘To suggest that our members don’t care about their consumers is completely inaccurate,’’ Hastings said. ‘‘Our members are now focusing their energies on the database and achieving the start-up goal by November. The important thing at this stage is to allow our members to execute the plan that all of the stakeholders agreed upon.’’
The national database will be similar to a global database devised by GSMA, a wireless trade group based in the United Kingdom. Nearly 100 wireless companies across 43 countries participate in the overseas database for reported stolen mobile phones, said Claire Cranton, a GSMA spokeswoman in London.
But Gascon said a national network to track stolen phones comes up short and he is adamant that a kill switch is the best strategy to render a phone useless.
In March, he met with Apple’s government liaison officer Michael Foulkes to talk about creating a kill switch technology. He described the encounter as ‘‘disappointing’’ but said a subsequent phone conversation with Apple’s general counsel Bruce Sewell last month led to plans for talks that would include Apple’s technical people.
Representatives of the tech giant did not respond to requests for comment.
‘‘For me, a technical solution is probably better than just a criminal solution,’’ Gascon said. ‘‘We can always create more laws, but look at how long it already takes to prosecute somebody at the expense of the taxpayers?
‘‘If a phone can be inoperable at the flick of a switch, then a database will become moot.’’