Main | Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Phone Makers Give Nod To "Kill Switch"

After years of pleas from law enforcement, a coalition of the largest mobile handset makers in the world have agreed to install kill switches on devices manufactured after July 2015. The kill switch feature will allow the phone's owner to wipe all data and disable the phone. 
Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, along with the five biggest cellular carriers in the United States, are among those that have signed on to a voluntary program announced Tuesday by the industry's largest trade group. All smartphones manufactured for sale in the United States after July 2015 must have the technology, according to the program from CTIA-The Wireless Association. Advocates say the feature would deter thieves from taking mobile devices by rendering phones useless while allowing people to protect personal information if their phone is lost or stolen. Its proponents include law enforcement officials concerned about the rising problem of smartphone theft. HTC, Motorola, Nokia are among the other smartphone makers who have signed up, along with carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular.
After another rash of iPhone snatching on the NYC subway, the NYPD recently deployed undercover cops who pose as careless commuters in order to flush out "Apple pickers."

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