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.

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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

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