A major step in deterring cell phone theft was taken yesterday when the leading carriers and manufacturers signed a pledge to have an anti-theft device installed in all new smartphones in the United States after July 2015.
CTIA-The Wireless Association announced The Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment. It was signed by the five largest cellular carriers–AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular–as well as cell phone makers Apple, Microsoft, Google, HTC, Samsung, Huawei, Nokia and Motorola.
The “kill switch” will render any smartphone inoperable if it is lost or stolen. In addition, cell phone owners will be able to remotely wipe away their personal data, such as emails, contacts and photos.
The kill switch will be free to consumers.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly one-third of all robberies now involve smartphones.