June 20, 2013
Phone Makers Are Finally Considering Kill Switches
"Why isn't there a mechanism built into my phone that lets me remotely disable it?" Motherboard reports.
That's a question district attorneys in San Francisco and New York have been thrusting into the faces of Big Smartphone--Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung--for a couple months now, without much success. Last week, they ratcheted their campaign up a notch with the launch of the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative
The FCC, phone makers, and police joined forces to create a centralized national database to track stolen phones. The idea is to prevent a hot phone from being activated. It's a good idea, except it's not deterring the crime--largely because the database doesn't track phones sold overseas.
The Secure Our Smartphones Initiative goes a step further. Rather than simply track the devices, SOS operates under the assumption that being able to render a phone useless--to "brick" it --will sap their black market value and deter criminals from stealing them in the first place.
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