Android and Windows to get 'kill switch'
Posted in: Mobile & Wireless at 20/06/2014 20:09
Google and Microsoft will add a "kill-switch" feature to their Android and Windows phone operating systems.
The feature is a method of making a handset completely useless if it is stolen, rendering a theft pointless.
Authorities have been urging tech firms to take steps to help curb phone theft and argued that a kill-switch feature can help resolve the problem.
Smartphones Embracing 'Kill Switches' as Theft Defense
By next summer, most new smartphones may no longer be quite so attractive to thieves.
Microsoft and Google said Thursday that phones using their operating systems -- including handsets produced by big names like Samsung, Nokia and Motorola -- will have a so-called kill switch that can render the devices unusable after they have been reported stolen. Apple's iPhone has had a kill switch, called Activation Lock, since September.
Apple 'Kill Switch' Appears to Reduce iPhone Robberies
An Apple Inc. "kill switch" to disable stolen iPhones appears to be reducing thefts, law-enforcement officials in New York and California said. Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are following Apple's lead, planning to put similar technology into devices using their software.
In New York City, robberies and grand larcenies from a person involving Apple products dropped 19% and 29%, respectively, in the first five months of this year, compared with a year earlier. In San Francisco, iPhone robberies declined 38%. In London, Apple thefts declined 24%. The statistics were compiled by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.