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California Nears Smartphone Kill Switch
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 12:17:24 PM
Driver ...
Argualbly it's only the threat of this legislation in two major markets that drove Apple, Google and Microsoft to make this move, so moot or not, it was worth the effort.

Maybe this will be a selling point for Win 8 devices - "The Windows Phone kill switch will allow owners to: render the smartphone inoperable; remotely wipe personal data from the phone; prevent reactivation without the owner's permission; reverse the inoperability if the phone is recovered; and restore user data if the phone was erased."

That's way more than Apple or Samsung are doing, right?
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 12:34:56 PM
Remote Wipes
The remote wipe option is smart addition. I have used Find my iPhone to recover mine after I left it in a restaurant. Such a service just makes sense. I am still floored by the number of people who don't even password protect their phones. Is the CA effort a moot point? Weigh in please.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2014 | 1:06:10 PM
Re: Driver ...
In another report, the CTIA has been opposing this legislation.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2014 | 1:07:17 PM
Re: Driver ...
Lorna, that's exactly what Find My Phone has been doing for a year, and how iOS has worked for well over that.
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 3:01:21 PM
Re: Remote Wipes
I don't believe it to be a moot point; late or not, it is still a worthwhile effort. Aside from its benefit to a personal user, imagine a corporate scenario that requires through policy the need for a kill and/or remote wipe capability in mobile devices. It would be so much easier to enforce if the given device already has that feature built in.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 4:32:11 PM
Re: Remote Wipes
I think it's a worthwhile effort, so long as it doesn't hinder things like legitimate phone resale and legitimate transfer of ownership. I'd unclear to me however whether remote data wiping will really get rid of data or just overwrite it so that it can be recovered. I can't imagine law enforcement agencies wanting to allow people to really be able to remotely erase their phones such that the data is truly unrecoverable.
Jeffrub1
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Jeffrub1,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2014 | 5:50:51 PM
Re: Remote Wipes
Even if unnecessary, the added exposure of these laws will hopefully raise awareness and eventual usage of the capability. As noted earlier, security is not top of mind for many consumers, so keeping the topic in the news can only help. As for corporate interest, this will unfortunately provide little benefit in the world of BYOD, where wiping this way won't be enforceable. This would be especially true when a device is lost (not stolen), and the user is therefore reluctant to take security action to protect sensitive company information.
Pablo Valerio
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Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2014 | 4:54:48 AM
Shame on manufacturers
The way manufacturers and opertors are going about this is really shameful.

They had the technology to implement the kill switch for many years. The only reason is not there yet is basically greed.

The number of stolen smartphones almost doubled last year (3.1m vs 1.6m in 2012), and cost about $2.5 billion to consumers to replace their phones and pay for addtional insurance.

$2.5 billion is a huge business. If the kill switch is implemented and activated by default that additional revenue will go away really fast.

About remote wipes, I believe expert forensic technicians for law enforcement could be able to recover data if necessary. I've only seen a couple of hardware encryption systems that allow for a "real" destruction of all data.
2bafriend
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2bafriend,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2014 | 9:39:04 AM
Good Intentions
Like most government actions, good intentions turn into lage failures.  If you can kill your phone, so can they.  If they don't want you to communicate outside what they want you to say, then you won't.  The government has no business in this.  It is your individual responsibility to protect yourself, your family and your property.  If you cannot take personal responsibility, then maybe you should rethink life.

 
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Strategist
8/13/2014 | 11:06:51 AM
Re: Remote Wipes
@Thomas I agree that any such capability must not interfere with legitimate resale or transfer of ownership. Regarding remote wiping, my take is that a government has no right to prevent people from remotely erasing their own personal data on a device they own so that it is unrecoverable. That is personal data, and people have absolute rights to it unless there is a suspicion of criminal activity. The same goes for corporate data on corporate owned devices, subject to records retention regulations. We cannot live in a world where any government agency can impose such restrictions on personal or corporate data without due cause. Arguably, the "due cause" can be abused, but that is beside the point.
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