Samsung to Allow a Remote Kill Switch for Stolen Phones

Samsung Galaxy S4 – will the next Gen smartphone come with a kill switch? (Credit: Iddo Genuth)
Earlier this week Samsung promised it is working on a new feature that will allow mobile operators to completely disable a mobile device in case its owner report it was stolen.
According to the Huffington Post: "Samsung executives disclosed their plans during a closed-door meeting with Gascon and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who summoned representatives from four major smartphone manufacturers to New York to press for commitments in combating a nationwide surge of crime targeting their devices".
Apparently Samsung is going to reveal the new feature next month which will turn any device inoperable when reported stolen. Even replacing the SIM card would not allow the device to come back to life nor will any sort of hacking the software of the phone according to Samsung (which did not comment on the subject at this stage).
According to a recent research 113 smartphones are stolen or lost in the U.S. every minute and users are most likely to lose their device at a fast food restaurant or grocery store. As disturbing as it might sound, phone thefts account for about 40% of all New York City (out of which 70% percent are iPhones). Also, approximately 40% of robberies in major cities now involve mobile devices, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
One man who decided to stand and fight this new form of crime is New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who gave Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft an ultimatum until the beginning of next year to come out with a "kill switch" for disabling mobile phones and stopping the mobile black market that has been evolving over the past few years. According to Schneiderman: " All new products produced by the first part of 2014 should have kill switches or comparable technology installed".
Mobile manufacturers did not have a large enough incentive to prevent mobile phone theft until now, since phone theft leads to users buying new devices which drives sales. However if manufacturers will be obligated to integrate a "kill switch" by law they will have no option but to comply. Schneiderman also mentioned in his recent speech that the technology for putting a kill switch already exist and it is now a matter of when rather than how when it comes to implementing the technology.

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