Kill switch in smartphones leading to less thefts - KMOV.com

Kill switch in smartphones leading to less thefts

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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) By Justin Sullivan (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) By Justin Sullivan

ST. LOUIS, Mo.- After former SLU volleyball player Megan Boken was killed in the Central West End by a man trying to steal her cellphone, her parents joined the push to get phone companies to add a kill switch to discourage thefts. 

A kill switch allows the phone to be shut off if it's stolen, rendering the device useless. 

The Boken family joined law enforcement and political leaders around the globe to push for a cell phone kill switch, which allows the owner to remotely turn off a stolen or lost phone. 

Apple added the feature to the IPhone in Sept. 2013, and since, smartphone thefts have plummeted.  

So far Apple, Samsung and Google have implemented the kill switches into their phones and Microsoft is expected to add the technology to its phones this year. 

"Even when it seemed like it would be impossible to achieve this, we knew we had to keep trying for Megan," said Megan Boken's sister Annie. 

Minnesota became the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring kill switches in 2014, and California will follow with a bill that goes into effect July 1 in 2015.

 

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