NY AG Says Android, Windows Phones Will Have "Kill Switch"

"It's for your own good, remember." As Bloomberg reports, based on a study showing the "stunning effectiveness of kill switches," Google and Microsoft have agreed to NY AG Schneidermann's calls that such 'security measures' be incorporated in all new Android and Windows phones (following Apple's inclusion in September). With Android phones making up 80.2% of global shipments this year, "control" will be pleased...

 

Via Bloomberg,


Google and Microsoft will incorporate a “kill switch” into the next versions of their smartphone operating systems as evidence mounts that such security measures may be deterring theft, the New York attorney general’s office said.

 

Mobile phone technology companies have faced pressure from public officials during the past year to add mechanisms to allow smartphone owners to disable the devices if they are lost or stolen, limiting their resale potential.

 

More than 30 percent of robberies in major cities involve mobile phones, with some instances of theft also including violence, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Following Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s release of a kill switch in September, thefts of iPhones in some cities “plummeted,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who helped start a law enforcement coalition aimed at addressing the thefts.

 

The Secure Our Smartphones Initiative group said in a report today that robberies involving Apple products in New York dropped 19 percent in the first five months of 2014 compared with the same period last year. In San Francisco and London, robberies involving Apple products dropped 38 percent and 24 percent, respectively, according to Schneiderman’s office.

 

“The statistics released today illustrate the stunning effectiveness of kill switches and the commitments of Google and Microsoft are giant steps toward consumer safety,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

We are sure this is well intentioned... but worry of the unintended consequences (hackers able to entirely kill phones) and of course the libertarian perspective where 'control' is given to TPTB... how many more police violence cellphone clips? Turkey killed Twitter, why not kill all phones for a weekend?




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