News / Science & Technology

US Cellphone Makers to Equip Phones With Anti-Theft Mechanism

FILE - A man poses holding his cell phone in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
FILE - A man poses holding his cell phone in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
VOA News
Cell phone thefts are on the rise in the U.S., but not for long, as owners may soon be able to remotely lock a stolen phone and erase all its data.

The five biggest cellular phone service providers in the country, together with major manufacturers, including Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Motorola and Nokia, have signed an agreement that will effectively eliminate the benefits to the thieves.

According to a statement by the industry's largest trade organization , all smartphones manufactured for sale in the U.S. after July 2015 will be equipped with a system for remotely erasing all data and making them useless without the proper password.

Thieves also will not be able to reset the phone. All the deleted data would be retrievable if the owner gets the phone back.

The so-called Kill switch' will be installed on all smartphones, free of charge.

Previously, some cellphone service providers resisted introduction of a kill switch,' fearing that hackers could exploit the feature, but later reversed their stand under pressure from the public and some lawmakers.

Apple and a few other manufacturers already offer features that let owners prevent reactivation of their stolen phones.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jakes
April 17, 2014 11:40 PM
The idea is absolutely brilliant, should have been implemented a long time ago. However to expect the police to track down all cell phone thefts simply burdens them when it come to serious criminal investigations. Rendering the phone "dead" is a simple solution to deter theft.


by: Anonymous from: Unknown
April 17, 2014 8:08 PM
I understand that the companies are trying to help out and make it to where people are trying to get there phones back but in my opinion its stupid it doesnt take a rocket scientist to factory reset a phone this "password" isnt going to improve anything people are going to steal it now unless you have a system where if your phone gets stolen and you can call the company and they track it for you and contact local police FOR FREE then that would be helpful!

In Response

by: Anonymous
April 23, 2014 8:02 AM
I agree with you

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid