The ecoATM® kiosks were designed to be easy and efficient for use by consumers, but behind the scenes is state-of-the-art technology that includes advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence. Moreover, the kiosk is composed of extensive security features and processes to deter the sale of any stolen devices and assist law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting suspected cell phone thieves.
Learn more about our many security initiatives and law enforcement assistance tools and processes below:
It’s often thought that ecoATM kiosks operate completely on their own, but no transaction can be completed without the approval of a live verifier. Using the three-high resolution webcams on the kiosk, ecoATM employees located in the company’s headquarters monitor and approve every transaction in real-time.
Watch the video below for a first-hand look at our live verification security processes:
ecoATM kiosks use AssureTec ID technology to electronically verify that an ID is legitimate. AssureTec's high-resolution scanners can spot the telltale signs of a counterfeit ID invisible to the naked eye. After the AssureTec ID electronically verifies the government issued ID for authenticity by examining the ID for holograms, watermarks, or other specific identification methods, the customer is permitted to proceed. However, this does not yet mean the customer has been approved to complete a transaction.
A transaction will be denied by the attendant if:
If we cannot get at least one clear, front-on photo of the customer using the machine, the attendant will request via direct messaging through the kiosk interface that the customer remove any hat, glasses, or other objects hindering our ability to take a good photo and approve the transaction.
A transaction will be denied by the attendant if:
Consumer is not in view
If our cameras are obstructed, the attendant will instruct the consumer to remove any items that may obstruct our view. If any of the cameras are obstructed, we will deny and request the customer re-center themselves so we can capture clear photos.
Face does not match ID
ecoATM, Inc. is a strong supporter of kill-switch technology for mobile phones and has been at the forefront of technology related to secure smart phone recycling. Upon the introduction of kill-switch software, ecoATM enhanced its security measures by implementing a kill-switch step during the transaction process. If ecoATM detects an active kill-switch on any device being sold at an ecoATM kiosk, it will reject the transaction unless the user is able to deactivate it, thus proving to be the device's owner.
What is a kill-switch?
With more than 65 percent of robberies involving cell phone theft, San Francisco lawmakers and law enforcement agencies knew they had to take action. In June of 2013, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón partnered with New York State Attorney General Eric Schnedierman to create the Secure Our Smartphones Coalition (“SOS”), a group that included New York and San Francisco law enforcement agencies. The SOS searched for solutions to the growing problem of cell phone theft and landed on the invention of a kill-switch, technology that would allow the cell phone owner to remotely “brick” and remove information from their phone, effectively making their phone worthless to a thief. The belief is that by rendering these smartphones useless, the kill-switch will diminish the secondary market for stolen phones and reduce any incentive for theft.
Before ecoATM® kiosks purchase any valuable device, the kiosk will check the device's uniquely identifying serial numbers through the service CheckMEND.com to determine if the device has been reported stolen. CheckMEND compiles records from carriers, police, the FBI, and more to create a comprehensive database of stolen devices on an international scale. If the device is does not pass CheckMEND's background check, the ecoATM kiosk will reject the transaction.
ecoATM, Inc. takes consumer safety and device security seriously. We partner with law enforcement, technology leaders and legislators to propel innovation in how we interact with our mobile devices.
Although ecoATM has faced bans in some jurisdictions, we believe these bans were based on inaccurate or incomplete information about how our kiosk operates and upon technology and processes we were using in 2010. Working with our law enforcement partners and in-house law enforcement advisors and Directors, ecoATM has greatly enhanced our technology and processes to screen for suspicious or stolen devices. We're very proud of the state of our security today and of our ability to assist law enforcement in detecting and deterring the sale of stolen devices and in identifying and capturing cell phone thieves. We are welcomed by law enforcement, legislators and the community in 42 states.
Please review the following information to learn more about recent issues, research, and how our machine works.
Law enforcement personnel who need access to a device inside the kiosk can simply call ecoATM and we can open the door remotely at any time. Once an officer's ID and law enforcement credentials have been validated, the front door of the kiosk will be automatically opened and a specialist will be available to help secure the device you are looking for.
ecoATM will respond quickly and diligently to any request from law enforcement to research and/or return reported stolen devices that may have been collected by the kiosk. Any reported stolen devices will be returned with no subpoena or search warrant required and at no cost to the victim.
ecoATM holds all inventory collected for a minimum of 30 days. We will hold inventory for longer if required. Once the hold period has passed, we ship the devices to our recyclers and retailers from our headquarters in San Diego, California.
ecoATM works with law enforcement to implement a "do not buy" list, which bans individuals from utilizing an ecoATM® kiosk. Additionally, if an individual is identified by law enforcement as having sold a stolen device at an ecoATM kiosk, we electronically "ban" that individual from conducting further transactions at ecoATM kiosks.
We do not require a search warrant or subpoena, and we will provide any device(s) and associated records to law enforcement in our possession upon request. If any officer has an investigative interest in a device that is currently deposited in one of our kiosks, they may simply visit the kiosk, call us and present their credentials to the kiosk camera, and we will remotely open the kiosk to allow the officer to recover any device.
If you call or email our Regulatory Affairs Department, we can check IMEI/MEID and hardware serial numbers in our system to determine if a specific device was received by ecoATM. If the device in question has not been received by ecoATM, we can create an automated flag which will alert us and enable us to alert you if the device is recycled at an ecoATM kiosk.
ecoATM offers an open book policy to all law enforcement that can use the information we have to assist in an investigation. We can report in any method preferred, including mail, fax, email, BWI’s Rapid, NEWPRS or other reporting mechanisms. We're happy to do the searching for you. Just call your state's Regulatory Affairs representative and they'll get started.
We recently created a new partnership with LeadsOnline that will offer all officers access to ecoATM kiosk transaction reports on LeadsOnline free of cost. LeadsOnline is a nationwide web-based investigative system that law enforcement can use to access, print and search their local ecoatm transactions easily and quickly.