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Android, Windows Phones To Get OS Kill Switches

Android, Windows Phones To Get OS Kill Switches
By Jennifer LeClaire

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"We can make the violent epidemic of smartphone theft a thing of the past and these numbers prove that," said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón of the use of kill switches. "It was evident from day one that a technological solution was not only possible, but that it would s erve as an effective deterrent to this growing threat."
 



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Saves Money, Too

Beyond reducing crime, the smartphone kill switch could also save consumers money. Research from Creighton University suggests that the concept, which would make it impossible to resell stolen smartphones, could save consumers $2.6 billion a year. William Duckworth of the Heider College of Business at Creighton, pointed to a recent report from comScore, estimating that more than 145 million Americans carry smartphones. And, he argued, those smartphones make consumers easy targets for theft.

"If the kill switch significantly reduced cell phone theft, consumers could save about $580 million a year from not needing to replace stolen phones and another $2 billion a year by switching from premium cell phone insurance (offered by the wireless carriers) to more basic coverage offered by third parties such as Apple and SquareTrade," Duckworth said. "My research suggests that at least half of smartphone owners would in fact reduce their insurance coverage if the kill switch reduced the prevalence of cell phone theft."

We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his take on the decision from Microsoft and Google to add a kill switch to the next iteration of their mobile operating systems. He's not surprised.

"Cell phone theft has become a serious problem largely because it is trending to become increasingly violent," Enderle told us. "Moves like this potentially destroy the value of stolen phones, which should make people using them, particularly in large cities, far safer."

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Posted: 2014-06-23 @ 12:51am PT
Privacy and security matters on my mobile phone and this kill switch is the way to go.



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