Major mobile manufacturers backing “opt-in” anti-theft kill switch

BY Valerie Richardson

Published 16 Apr 2014

Anti-Theft Kill Switch

Major mobile manufacturers have now come forward to back the new smartphone “kill switch” law proposed by Sen. Mark Leno who wanted to make this mandatory on all new devices. The likes of Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung as well as the top five mobile carriers in the U.S. have agreed to this new law.

Sen. Leno said in a statement – “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 kill switch feature on upcoming smartphones and tablets will be “opt-in”, meaning that customers can either choose to turn it on or leave it as it is. The implementation is expected to take place in July 2015, so don’t hold your breath to find this feature on upcoming handsets this year.

As of now, users can remotely wipe their Android device in case of theft using Google’s solutions like Android Device Manager. But the availability of a kill switch by default on all smartphones will educate more customers regarding security.

[Via Re/Code]