A smartphone “Kill Switch” now mandatory for South Korea
The kill switch is supposed to allow victims to remotely disable their device completely, which will hopefully serve as a deterrent. The new act has been live for a week now, and will remain in force until the second quarter of 2014, at which point, we guess, the South Korean government will go ahead and try to assess its effectiveness and whether it's worth going forward with it.
While Pantech has been incorporating the new function since February, both Samsung and LG will be forced to alter their manufacturing process to include the now mandatory switch.
1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 855; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
If this switch replaces the menu button then it's bad news.
2. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 4852; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
I thought the "Kill Switch" is a self destruct switch, which will blow up pesky smartphone theft's ass.
6. buccob (Posts: 1052; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
That would be possible in North Korea... I guess, but then again... their "smartphones" don't have internet access
13. deewinc (Posts: 121; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)
They can incorporate a software that picks up SMS commands like the Avast-anti theft for smartphones.
14. buccob (Posts: 1052; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
you are correct.... I forgot about that..
Anyway I wouldn't have much to "protect" if I had a phone without access to internet...
I was trying to be funny... though I would really love to have a way to make the Li-ion battery on my phones explode by some sort of kill switch... I was already assaulted for my SGS3... so it would make me smile a bit after being robbed
4. pwnarena (Posts: 722; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
I don't think this is a good idea. Why kill if you can still have the chance to recover it through the different connectivity features of the device? Why not just make that switch a feature that automatically activates GPS, wi-fi and other connectivity features to make the phone more trackable? Korea is a small country with almost every nook and cranny covered by GPS and even GLONASS. Also, only a very few thieves are techie enough to drastic measures to prevent the phone from being tracked.
I think the Korean lawmakers are misguided here.
5. pellegrini (Posts: 83; Member since: 14 Jun 2012)
Sure, but it isn't an easy task to recovery it. This would be a great feature to decrease the number of stolen phones.
8. Dadler22 (Posts: 159; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
GPS tracking is pointless, I've located a lost iPhone before to an exact address and the police wouldn't do anything about it. I'd rather brick the damn thing so the thief gets the short end of the stick they deserve
10. ECPirate37 (Posts: 79; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)
I agree with Daddler. I'm lucky to have never had a phone stolen, but I've had friends that do (I do live in NYC where it seems 3 iPhones are stolen a minute; that is hyperbole). I've had one that tracked their phone to an address and the cops did nothing about it. I have lockout on mine, and if I couldn't track the phone and get it back within a couple of days; I would love the option to brick it if I didn't think I would be getting it back.
11. kozza3 (Posts: 573; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)
or we could all man up and kindly ask for the phone back!
7. volcano321 (Posts: 20; Member since: 08 Aug 2013)
Too little details to know if it's a good idea or not yet. If it's only applicable to Korean networks, stolen phones will just get shipped to China. If carriers require original owners to show proof before disabling, may affect used market, etc.
Just enabling GPS/wifi on the phone would not make it easy to track. If it's in someone's place on private property, not sure if the police will get you a warrant for every such case.. don't think they'd trouble themselves doing that.
9. rallyguy (Posts: 450; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
There are apps that do this now. This still won't prevent the phone to be used for parts.
The best anti-theft tool is the owner not leaving it laying around.
12. Jobayer (Posts: 75; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)
you don't say ? what about muggers, robbers ?
15. rallyguy (Posts: 450; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
I'm sure few are lost by robbery. By far the majority are most likely setting it down and forgetting it some place.
19. Jobayer (Posts: 75; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)
u clearly haven't lived in Asia , do some research on the web if you please its a big issue all over the world to .
21. Jobayer (Posts: 75; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)
fyi this not the elections , we all pay for our phones and all problems should be acknowledged.
16. hypergreatthing (Posts: 33; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)
Because breaking down the components for cash is NEVER what people do.
Because you just can't swap the ESN
17. a961009 (Posts: 98; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)
People in Korea hate about this!! And so do I!
18. meowcenary (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
What is to stop CIV/FED/MIL GOV from hitting the kill switch for a Comms Blackout.....Well maybe not because they could use jammers built by Raytheon.
20. Tux_Alan (Posts: 74; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)
Wow... Can't picture knowing what adress my stolen phone is at and dropping the matter cause.... The police won't do a thing.... Lol... Either way, a killswitch is a good idea as long as the rightful owner can undo the bricking...