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California Smartphone Kill-Switch Law: What It Means
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mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 9:18:16 AM
Re: Start the clock
@asksqn,

Nothing is impossible, and you're correct, it's a matter of time, but if things start to become increasingly more difficult, the attraction to steal phones may start to fade away.

Another factor to consider is that most of today's smartphones are being constantly pushed an update, and require credentials to install apps, so this will also lead people to not buy stolen phones simply because of the fact they won't be able to get further updates.

And again, like you mention, it's only a matter of time before they find work arounds for that too...but in today's consumer oriented market, users will most likely stay away of hacked phones (at least the non-techys)
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 9:12:26 AM
Re: to really deter them
@kstaron,

If I'm not mistaken, cell phones are alreardy enabled to allow for GPS location (unless it's one of those burner phones).

I think the fact that a phone can't be re-sold is suffcient to make it's theaf not even feasible. This will also lead for the smarphone "black market" to dissolve, since the support required to unlock stolen phones would start fading.
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 10:08:20 PM
Start the clock
I give it til the end of the year before crackers (the correct terminology to describe blackhats, cyber and other techno criminals) find a way to reverse engineer the kill switch. 
tkeller852
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tkeller852,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/30/2014 | 7:49:24 PM
Kikll switch pretty low value.
None of this will do any practical good until authorities are willing to act on such thefts.  Mine was stolen, I activated the child tracking feature and reported the exact trailer house in the exact trailer park in west Phoenix where the phone was located and provided the Google earth image of it.  They told me to use my phone insurance.
Henrisha
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Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
8/30/2014 | 1:47:34 PM
Re: How do you kill it?
More options on activating the kill switch seem to be in order. They can be rolled out one after the other, perhaps in some countries where some options might not be as practical (ie. adding the phone option.)

Living in a third world country where people have been beaten up or worse, stabbed for their phones--it's high time for some deterrents that they can't get past, rendering stolen phones pretty much useless.
Henrisha
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Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
8/30/2014 | 1:46:15 PM
Re: to really deter them
I agree with you. There has to be something more than a kill switch, although I won't disagree since I think it's a useful option to have as well. But something that's a bigger deterrent, that's what I would like to see too.
gvandunk
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gvandunk,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/30/2014 | 9:44:26 AM
Re: How do you kill it?
The current iPhone kill switch works.  However most of the people who steal these devices know about it so the first thing they do is turn the phone off so it can not be traced.  This was my personal experience.  I went to iCloud within minutes and it could not find my phone.  The authorities are correct in that it has decreased theft some since the phones can not currently be resold and reactivated which was what made them valuable before.  They are however sold for parts much like the bulk of stolen cars.  There is a large secondary market for screens, batteries etc to fix broken phones. Repairing phones is a good business and if you can get quality used parts your margins increase. I am sure a good portion of the "street" vendors that do repairs use the parts. Unfortuneately people create the demand as they are the ones looking for a cheaper alternative to going to the manufacturer for repair.
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Moderator
8/29/2014 | 5:07:20 PM
to really deter them
If you want to prevent cell phone theft this is a decent way to protect the info on the phone, but shouldn't it be coupled with an alarm type of GPS device so when it's activated you can find out where theif took it, preferrably with a loud blaring noise emitting from the phone to declare this phone was stolen? Do that and it makes stealing a phone a liability not just less desirable.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 4:52:13 PM
Re: How do you kill it?
Here's my 2 cents,

In many third world countries, people have been badly hurt (even killed) for a phone, so the having a way to completely disable a phone it's a really good meassure

 

But like @Shane mentiones, some people might not have access to a computer in a street, but might be able to make a call from a restaurant or other location, so if the kill switch can be activated by calling a number and entering a PIN, it would allow for greater efficiency.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/29/2014 | 12:42:30 PM
Re: How do you kill it?
Thanks Tom. But if your smartphone is gone, a text message code won't do you much good. A phone number you could call to activate the kill would work. But it seems a website covers the bases best. Whatever the medium, it should be quick and easy for an owner to pull the trigger.
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