Menu
Carriers slammed for rejecting smartphone 'kill switch'

Carriers slammed for rejecting smartphone 'kill switch'

Officials in New York and San Francisco called the carriers' response 'highly disturbing'

Law enforcement officials trying to rein in violent smartphone theft have criticized cellular operators who they say rejected a solution that would help address the problem.

"It is highly disturbing that these corporations rejected a proposal that would have helped keep millions of consumers safe," San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a joint statement Wednesday.

The officials have been pushing for a "kill switch" that could render smartphones inoperable after they're stolen, reducing the incentive for crime. But news reports this week suggested carriers have rejected the idea.

"If they did so to protect their own profit margins, as several recent reports suggest, it is even more egregious," the pair said in their statement.

"Companies that choose to prioritize profits over safety put consumers everywhere at risk. Since smartphone thefts so often result in violence, we call on manufacturers and carriers alike to make the opt-out kill switch an industry-wide standard."

The carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, United States Cellular and Sprint, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Robberies involving smartphones have been increasing across the U.S., and in many major cities they now make up the majority of serious street crime. In many cases, victims are physically attacked or threatened with knives or guns for their phones.

The two officials have had some success with Apple and Samsung. Apple designed new security features into the latest version of its iOS operating system and Samsung is shipping new handsets with a security software package installed.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CriminalAppleconsumer electronicssmartphonesSamsung Electronicslegal

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments