Carriers Nix Cell Phone Kill Switch Over Profit Fears
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.
Google Simplifies Searching For Lost Phones
Google today made improvements to its My Accounts tool that should help people better manage their Google settings as well as their smartphone. Users can now access their account by saying, "Ok Google, show me my Google account" into the Google Search app.
CTIA Says Smartphones Better Protected Against Theft
Beginning today, most smartphones sold in the U.S. will include anti-theft security tools.
Google Updates, Renames Android Device Manager
Google today updated its Android Device Manager application. The app has a fresh design and, more importantly, a new name.
CTIA Issues RFP for Stolen Device Database
The CTIA is looking for companies to help it with the Mobile Device Information Portal and issued a request for proposal to that effect. The portal is to be a central tool that consumers, carriers, and law enforcement can use to ascertain whether or not phones have been reported lost or stolen.
Kill switch concerns
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...
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 ...
Read the article
The "lawmakers" are trying to make themselves look good.
Google android device manager
Something is missing here...
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.
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!
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