Phone Scoop

printed September 5, 2015
See this page online at:
http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=13219

Home  ›  News  ›

Carriers Nix Cell Phone Kill Switch Over Profit Fears

Article Comments  36  

Nov 19, 2013, 10:54 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

U.S wireless network operators are not interested in allowing smartphone makers to install kill switches that would allow owners to deactivate their phones remotely if they become lost or stolen. Lawmakers in New York and San Francisco have been working with handset manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung, to put the software kill switches on their smartphones. The idea is to make it easier for consumers to protect themselves by making it easier to deactivate lost/stolen devices. The long range goal is to deter cell phone theft, since deactivated devices will not be attractive to thieves. However, The New York Times says the lawmakers involved in the discussions have seen emails between U.S. network operators and handset makers that shows the operators don't want to hurt the profits they make by selling insurance programs to consumers. "Corporate profits cannot be allowed to guide decisions that have life-or-death consequences," said San Francisco's district attorney, George Gascon. "This solution has the potential to safeguard customers, but these emails suggest the carriers rejected it so they can continue to make money hand over fist on insurance premiums." For their part, carriers say they've helped to curb phone theft through the creation of a nationwide database of stolen cell phone IDs. Devices that appear in the database cannot be activated on any of the major networks, provided the lost/stolen devices are actually added to the list.

more info at New York Times »

AD

Comments

This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

c2752713

Dec 14, 2013, 5:31 PM

White House Petition Kill Switch

There is actually a White House petition for kill switches, here:

http://wh.gov/l0F7o »
kingstu

Nov 19, 2013, 1:43 PM

Kill switch concerns

I start to worry about the "kill switch" being used by someone other than the owner. (A jealous partner or careless child) If the lost/stolen database was used properly it would eliminate the need for domestic kill switch.

Many phones have security built in or available as an app. Do we really want all of our phones with US Government software added to protect us? A mandatory "kill switch" might involve easier tracking of cellphones and I value my privacy.

If the smartphone is rendered useless then is all the data within it now lost forever? If not it can still be retrieved and that could be more costly than the price of the phone.

Devices already can be Sim-locked with a PIN code and that has proved to be a headache for many who u...
(continues)
As long as you aren't doing anything bad then you shouldn't have to worry about your privacy.

I would think that the password for the kill switch would be private and not known to anybody else.

The government could use the kill switch to stop ...
(continues)
...
Just goes to show there is someone willing to argue the wrong side of any issue.
DarkStar

Nov 19, 2013, 5:27 PM

Read the article

You do see where it says that its these lawmakers who are saying they saw email's from the carriers saying that. But if you think about it logically why would the carriers care about it. Insurance is for replacing a phone. The only companies hurt by this would be the antivirus companies like lookout and NQ Mobile. People will still want insurance.

The "lawmakers" are trying to make themselves look good.
The suggestion doesn't make any sense. Kill switch or no kill switch, when a phone is lost or stolen, customers need a new phone. The existence of a kill switch won't have an effect one way or the other. There are in many far more serious pract...
(continues)
Kenzin

Nov 19, 2013, 2:30 PM

Also...

I can see why Carriers do not want devices to have a software/feature that deactivates the device entirely. I know through several friends that work for national carriers that most Point of Sales Systems that are being used need an active device on the line in question at all times. If there is a "Kill Switch" this could impact their system.

Thoughts everyone?
The line will still be active, the kill switch only deactivates the phone. It sounds like a good idea at first, but after a little thought it sounds like a really bad idea. People misplace their phones all the time, and when they misplace their pho...
(continues)
clbowens

Nov 19, 2013, 12:38 PM

Google android device manager

What about the Google android device manage (https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager ?hl=en&u=0) that's already out there that lets you ring, lock or erase data from your device remotely (if you set it up to do so)?
It can be thwarted by swapping out the SIM card.....the kill switch makes the device permanently unusable, even if a SIM card switch is performed.
...
Globhead

Nov 19, 2013, 1:32 PM

Something is missing here...

Insurance replaces your phone, but the original is still in the hands of a thief.

A kill switch foils the thief (unless they find a hack), but it doesn't get your phone back.

These are completely different things. Maybe someone read something they didn't understand and repeated it incorrectly.
Poison Ivy

Nov 19, 2013, 11:05 AM

Operators don't want to hurt the profits they make by selling insurance programs to consumers.

Eric M. Zeman said:
The New York Times says the lawmakers involved in the discussions have seen emails between U.S. network operators and handset makers that shows the operators don't want to hurt the profits they make by selling insurance programs to consumers...



What a bunch of douchebags! Eh?
Poison Ivy said:
Eric M. Zeman said:
The New York Times says the lawmakers involved in the discussions have seen emails between U.S. network operators and handset makers that shows the operators don't want to hu
...
(continues)
...
I think the story is complete nonsense, it doesn't even make sense, if a phone is lost or stolen and cannot be recovered, the customer still needs a new phone. The addition of a kill switch does not in any way suggest or imply that the phone doesn't ...
(continues)
 
 
Page  1  of 1

Subscribe to Phone Scoop News with RSS Follow @phonescoop on Twitter Phone Scoop on Facebook Subscribe to Phone Scoop on YouTube Follow on Instagram

 

All content Copyright 2001-2015 Phone Factor, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Content on this site may not be copied or republished without formal permission.
2