Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment, rejects 'kill switch'

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 6:44 PM

SAN FRANCISCO -- A trade group for wireless providers says the country’s biggest smartphone makers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the devices to try to deter rampant theft.

CTIA-The Wireless Association announced Tuesday that under a “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment,” the providers agree to install a free preloaded or downloadable anti-theft tool on smartphones sold in the U.S. after July 2015.

The wireless industry has said putting a permanent “kill switch” on phones has serious risks, including potential vulnerability to hackers.

"Our hope is this will make it worthless to thieves on the secndary market, that's really why they're out there stealing these," John Sondag with AT&T said.

The parents of Megan Boken, who was robbed and killed while talking on her phone in St. Louis in 2012, pushed aggresively make kill switches standard on all smart phones.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have demanded that the wireless industry create kill switches. They say CTIA’s plan still falls short of effectively ending smartphone theft because the measures will rely on consumers to seek out and turn on the technology.

 

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