Cellular operators are being criticized by law enforcement officials for rejecting a solution that would help address the rein in smartphone theft. Officials have been pushing for a “kill switch” that could render smartphones inoperable after they’re stolen. Since smartphone robberies have increased across the U.S., and in many major cities, these particular crimes make up the majority of serious street crime. In many cases, victims are physically attacked or threatened with knives or guns for their phones. Officials look to the kill switch as one of the greatest incentives to reduce smartphone theft.
Carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint could not be immediately reached to comment, but CTIA said they rejected the kill switch because customers are offered a list of apps to download that will serve the purpose of the kill switch. Lead way has been met with Apple and Samsung whom both have added new security features to their latest handsets.
This kill switch could be looked at as a beacon to limit smartphone thefts, but to what extent? If a thief knows how to themselves/knows a person who can take a part a phone and switch out all the necessary components to make the phone functional again, would this kill switch even be useful?
As well there are particular apps out there that can be downloaded to make a phone inoperable, but it is up to users to find these apps, possibly pay for them, and download them. If carriers or mobile manufacturers installed this kill switch functionality upon shipping devices out to stores, then the carriers would not have to carry the burden of utilizing the kill switch, but it would be up to manufacturers or the users to set up a means of killing their stolen devices themselves.
Read “Mobile carriers slammed for rejecting smartphone ‘ill switch” in the Mobile Technology section at InfoWorld.com