Carriers shoot down plan for remote kill switch on handsets

Carriers shoot down plan for remote kill switch on handsets
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


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.

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 of smartphones.

source: @SFDAOffice via PCMag

FEATURED VIDEO

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless