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Google is testing anti-theft mode for smartphones in Brazil

Google is testing anti-theft mode for smartphones in Brazil

Google's system will use artificial intelligence to automatically block phones using Android in case of theft. (Image: 123RF)

US giant Google announced on Tuesday that Brazil will be the first country to test a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically block smartphones using the Android system in case of theft.

The largest country in Latin America was not chosen by chance: there are approximately two mobile phone thefts per minute, especially in big cities such as São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

Fabio Coelho, head of Google in Brazil, explained, “The feedback received from Brazilians inspired (Android's) anti-theft functions, and this country will be the first to test them.”

The beta will be available to Brazilian users starting in July.

The main new feature consists of a system that “uses artificial intelligence to detect if someone snatches your phone from your hand and tries to escape by running, bike, or car,” as Google explains.

The group specifies that “if motion related to theft is detected, the phone screen will quickly be obscured to prevent thieves from easily accessing your data.”

Another new feature announced is the ability to block access to device data remotely without needing a password, but only using the phone number.

Another function allows you to implement this blocking even if the smartphone is not connected to the Internet.

Apple, Google's main competitor in the field of mobile operating systems, launched the anti-theft functions of its iOS system last January.

According to the latest data published by the NGO Public Security Forum, Brazil recorded nearly 1 million phone thefts in 2022, or 1.9 per minute, an increase of 16.6% compared to last year.

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Last year, a “bike gang” made headlines in São Paulo, leading to an increase in the number of phone thefts committed by individuals on bikes.