It was revealed that the number of smartphone theft has been considerably lower since the introduction of a smartphone kill-switch that renders the phone unusable when not in the hands of its owner. According to data released yesterday, the numbers of robberies and thefts of smartphones in New York, London and San Francisco are falling thanks to the smartphone kill-switch.
The smartphone kill-switch has been proposed by law enforcement officials and the recent numbers are encouraging enough to state that the smartphone kill-switch is proof that the new technology is a deterrent to theft.
The kill-switch is a simple software lock that can be activated remotely when a phone is stolen or lost. If activated, the smartphone kill-switch can wipe all personal data from the phone and render it completely useless (unable to be reused or reprogrammed).
It was revealed that in San Francisco, smartphone robberies were down 20% from 2013 to 2014 and thefts and robberies of iPhone fell a whopping 40% during the same time period. In New York iPhone theft fell 25% while smartphone theft 16%. In London, all smartphone theft dropped 40% in the same time frame.
Apple’s kill-switch was added in September 2013 and it is called Activation Lock. In April 2014 Samsung was the next company to add a kill-switch to their Galaxy S5. When Google released the latest Android operating system, Android Lollipop, it made the smartphone kill-switch a standard feature of Android.
A new California law mandates that smartphone companies must include a kill-switch. The new law will come into effect after July 1 and it will apply to all smartphones that are sold in the state of California. The law only applies here, but other states are following its model.
When it was first proposed, the smartphone industry opposed the introduction of the smartphone kill-switch, but in time, they because more acceptant. Now, the largest U.S. carriers are being proactive about sharing data on stolen smartphones so they cannot be activated on networks inside the U.S. and abroad even if the smartphones in question do not contain a smartphone kill-switch.
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