Thursday September 24, 2020

updated - September 24, 2020 Thursday EDT

Kill Switches: Smartphones Bought After July 2015 to Have Feature

Apr 16, 2014 01:06 PM EDT | By Justin Stock
Kill Switches, ATT, Samsung

Smartphone buyers will find anti-theft kill switches on mobile devices purchased after July 2015.

According to Technology site Tom's Guide, Consumers will be able to entrap their phone in the event it is stolen and they are not near it, while also erasing valuable information the consumer may have had on the phone with no app necessary.

"We strongly urge CTIA and its members to make their anti-theft features enabled by default on all devices, rather than relying on consumers to opt-in," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon in a joint statement Tom's Guide reported.

According to The Wireless Association, the information that would vanish from the phone should a thief grab hold of it includes a person's contacts, photos, and e-mail messages.

The person who has the phone other than the person who bought it would also not be able to operate the phone because of a lock that would require a password or PIN to unlock it and use the phone.

The only exception being for uses abiding by guidelines associated with using smartphones for dialing 911 according to information on the CTIA's website. The kill switch also prevents someone from resetting the phone.

Apple Inc.; Asurion; AT&T; Google Inc.; HTC America, Inc.; Huawei Device USA; Motorola Mobility LLC; Microsoft Corporation; Nokia, Inc.; Samsung Telecommunications America, L.P.; Sprint Corporation; T-Mobile USA; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless are taking part in the Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment.

"We appreciate the commitment made by these companies to protect wireless users in the event their smartphones are lost or stolen," Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA told CNN. "This flexibility provides consumers with access to the best features and apps that fit their unique needs while protecting their smartphones and the valuable information they contain," Largent told CNN.

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