San Francisco Attorney General George Gascón sent out a tweet on Tuesday, revealing that major carriers have shot down plans for a remote kill switch for smartphones that was developed by Samsung. Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman have been trying to get manufacturers to add a kill switch to all smartphones so that service could be completely shut off remotely in case a phone is stolen. By turning off service and preventing stolen phones from working, it was hoped that thieves would not have the incentive to steal a phone since it could easily be deactivated
"Samsung takes the issue of smartphone theft very seriously, and we are continuing to enhance our solutions. We are working with the leaders of the Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S.) Initiative to incorporate the perspective of law enforcement agencies. We will continue to work with them and our wireless carrier partners towards our common goal of stopping smartphone theft."-Samsung
Both Gascón and Schneiderman are law-enforcement officials in two cities where smartphone theft remains a major problem. Schneiderman wrote to major manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft, asking them to come up with a way to prevent their devices from being targeted by thieves. Apple has such a feature in iOS 7. Apple iDevices stolen or lost cannot be activated without punching in the user's iOS user account name and password.
San Francisco's DA wants a remote kill switch on smartphones
Jamie Hastings, vice president of external and state affairs for CTIA, is trying to get a national stolen gadget database together. "We're pleased the carriers met all of the deadlines so far, and are on track to meet the final one to integrate the 4G/LTE database by November 30, 2013,
" said the CTIA exexcutive. The CTIA has placed its support behind a bill written by Sen. Chuck Schumer,that would increase the penalties for those who steal a smartphone or modify one. This past summer, Gascón said that both Apple and Samsung had shown improvements in developing ways to reduce strong arm thefts