Google and Apple want anti-theft smartphone kill switch

16 April 2014

burglar A whole host of mobile-makers, including Apple, Google, Samsung and HTC, have entered an agreement to add a global anti-theft kill-switch in their devices from July 2015.

A report says that "devices going on sale after July 2015 will have the ability to remotely wipe data and be rendered inoperable, if the user chooses, to prevent the device from being reactivated without the owner’s permission."

The publication adds that, should a handset be recovered, then data can be restored.

Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia, and Samsung (and some others) have all volunteered themselves to "facilitate these measures."

While Apple have been working on something similar to this kill switch, they've got other problems concerning anti-trust accusations where the prices of e-books got hiked up.

California state Senator Mark Leno has criticised an element of this development. He said: "The wireless industry today has taken an incremental yet inadequate step to address the epidemic of smartphone theft. Only weeks ago, they claimed that the approach they are taking today was infeasible and counterproductive. While I am encouraged they are moving off of that position so quickly, today’s ‘opt-in’ proposal misses the mark if the ultimate goal is to combat street crime and violent thefts involving smartphones and tablets."

The news that phone shops are selling stolen handsets from yesterday, shows that this is a big business and criminals will no doubt find a way around it in good time. However, if this acts as any kind of deterrent, it can only be a good thing.

TOPICS:   Mobile   Technology

1 comment

  • JonB
    You can already do this with the AndroidLost app.

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