Law enforcement officials push for a smartphone “kill switch” to thwart thieves

Law enforcement officials push for a smartphone “kill switch” to thwart thieves
Many smartphones have the ability to be remotely deactivated or wiped, plus there are applications for devices that do not have that native feature. Apple introduced “Activation Lock” as a new feature of iOS 7, which prevents thieves from turning off Find My iPhone or wiping the device and reusing it without the owner’s Apple ID and password.

Still, top Attorneys General in several cities are contending with a crime wave of smartphone thefts where upwards of 405 of all criminal activity in some cases is the theft of a smartphone. Like any politician however, they assert blame rather than responsibility, so their ire is directed to manufacturers whose only problem seems to be that they build and sell the devices that we buy and that thieves try to take away.

On the heels of a meeting between city officials and manufacturers which we reported to you last week, Attorneys General from San Francisco and New York City are forming a coalition called the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative aimed at pressuring manufacturers to help “dry up the market in stolen phones.” Despite moves made by Apple and Samsung, officials are still calling for more and offering sound-bites as to what is being done so far.

While the technology will certainly find a solution to aid in this problem, nothing beats an individual that is situationally aware and knows how to make their technology work for them. That may include not compromising one’s own safety for sake of a gadget. That said, help from the manufacturers or relevant application certainly would be welcome.


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