Major smartphone makers to add anti-theft ‘kill-switch’ to devices in 2015

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You may or may not have heard about the Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment but this initiative is what will be keeping American smartphones just a little bit safer next year. Starting from June 2015 several of the world’s major smartphone manufacturers will be adding a kill-switch to sorts to smartphones sold in the States.

This feature will, with the help of wireless and mobile carriers in the country, remotely wipe and lock down (as well as make it more difficult to recover the phone’s bootable state) stolen devices.

The idea is to give smartphone users the power to kill access to a phone that has been stolen, keeping the data on it out of the hands on a possible thief and also to “…[p]revent reactivation without authorized user’s permission (including unauthorized factory reset attempts) to the extent technologically feasible.” It would also give users the ability to restore the phone’s state, should they just have lost it.

The kill switch itself is supposed to be a downloadable or pre-installed piece of software that is doing all of the heavy lifting.

On the list of participants are Apple, Google, Huawei, HTC, Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung and Motorola, along with the American carriers. We’re hoping that the kill-switch proves effective in limiting cellular phone theft so that the opt-in feature will be spread around the world – in our direction in particular.

Source: Engadget

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