Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Less than 20% of lost mobile phones recovered in Taipei

By Chou Yen-yu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Lost mobile phones kept by Taipei Rapid Transit Corp that have not been collected by their owners are pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo: courtesy of the office of People First Party Taipei City Councilor Vivian Huang

Less than 20 percent of cases of reported lost mobile phones have been solved over the past seven years, the Taipei Police Department said.

From 2011 to September, a total of 6,191 reports of lost mobile phones were recorded in Taipei, with only 1,158, or 18.7 percent, being solved, People First Party Taipei City Councilor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said.

Stranger still, very few people came to collect lost mobile phones that had been found, Huang said, citing another statistic that nearly 4,000 phones were disposed of between 2015 and September because no owner had come forward to collect them.

It is standard policy for mobile phones to be disposed of if no one claims them, she said, adding that of the 4,000 devices, 1,143 phones were disposed of by the police department, 1,800 by Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) and 1,000 by bus companies in the capital.

While the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法) prohibits police from obtaining the records and information about a mobile phone from a telecom if such records are not related to a criminal case, Huang said the police department could still contact the telecom that issued the SIM card in the phone.

However, the number of returned phones is low because contacting the telecom regarding lost mobile phones is not mandatory, Huang said.

Huang called on the police department to collaborate with the city government, bus companies, TRTC and telecoms and establish a system where the SIM cards of lost mobile phones are communicated to telecoms, who could then contact the individual registered to the number.

In response, the Taipei Police Department said that it does not attempt to contact people who lose their mobile phones.

Phones mostly remained uncollected because the owners were tourists, the phone was damaged or the individual declined to collect it as they had already bought a new model, police said.

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