The New York Times is reporting that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and the CTIA (among others) have rejected having a “kill switch” preloaded onto Samsung phones that would prevent cellphone theft. Samsung and San Francisco district attorney George Gascón have been working together to provide this “kill switch” for some time, but the nation’s largest carriers and the industry’s trade group decided against having one because it would cut directly into their insurance plans. Currently, most carriers offer insurance plans that require monthly payments as well as a deductible for when your phone needs to be replaced. Despite the rejection, Gascón says “we are now evaluating what course of action will be necessary to force them to prioritize the safety of their customers over additional money in their pockets.”
The CTIA’s reason for not wanting this “kill switch” is that an online option to wipe your device could be hacked. Instead, the trade group offers their database as solution that would prevent stolen devices to work with the carriers’ networks; however, it’s just not effective when it comes to actually preventing the theft from happening. A “kill switch” would stop the problem from happening, not worrying about it after. Google currently offers some protection for Android devices by allowing users to track and secure their smartphones. Apple on the other hand can deactivate and wipe a device clean of its information along with requiring users to login before being used again.
Source: The New York Times