Smartphone anti-theft technology backed by Microsoft, Apple, Google, and more

Smartphone anti-theft technology backed by Microsoft, Apple, Google, and more

Microsoft, along with Google, Apple, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung, have all pledged their commitment to a new anti-theft technology for smartphones. Several states and municipalities are already considering various mandatory laws for mobile devices that would act as remote "kill-switches" for stolen devices.

These companies agreed that devices going on sale after July of 2015 will have the ability to remotely wipe data and can be rendered inoperable, a report from Recode stated today. Facilitated by the carriers, this anti-theft technology would prevent the device from being reactivated without the owner's permission. On top of that, lost or stolen devices could later be restored if they happen to make their way back to their rightful owner.

"The wireless industry today has taken an incremental yet inadequate step to address the epidemic of smartphone theft. Only weeks ago, they claimed that the approach they are taking today was infeasible and counterproductive. While I am encouraged they are moving off of that position so quickly, today’s ‘opt-in’ proposal misses the mark if the ultimate goal is to combat street crime and violent thefts involving smartphones and tablets," California state Senator Mark Leno said. He has proposed a mandatory kill-switch law in California.

Of course, in order for this technology to be effective as intended, consumers will need to enable this feature on their device. If this comes to fruition, would you be for or against it? Why?

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