Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
2/8/2014
09:06 AM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail

California Kill Switch Bill Targets Phone Thieves

California bill directs mobile hardware makers to include a way to disable stolen communications devices. Will privacy concerns be addressed?

Photo courtesy of West Midlands Police (Flickr).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
IrwinBusk
33%
67%
IrwinBusk,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2014 | 9:22:56 AM
Dumb.
A stupid law, to protect stupid people, from thier stupid mistakes.   "kill switch"  capability is readily available to those who want or need it.
Levon Tostig
100%
0%
Levon Tostig,
User Rank: Strategist
2/8/2014 | 10:20:46 AM
Re: Dumb.
Oh, the potential for government abuse is staggering on this.  

Imagine what this will be like when cell phones are linked to the computers in cars, for more than just making calls (as promised by Apple and several automakers).  The hand of Government will be able to reach in and take over through Sync (or whatever system the car is using), or misdirect your turn-by-turn directions to go where they want you to go.

If you don't think this is possible, you're entirely wrong.  This is possible *now* with a few $$$ of untracable off-the-shelf parts, and a cell version is coming really soon: http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/06/your-car-s-computer-system-can-be-compromised-with-off-the-shelf/

If it isn't the government doing this, why not anyone with a moderate skill set?  Gosh, what little remotely-sent flash of signal down a cold wire could tell a car's computer to report a false engine problem, just to get a regular visit to a dealership?

All good intentions, foolish Californians...

 
Levon Tostig
100%
0%
Levon Tostig,
User Rank: Strategist
2/8/2014 | 10:20:49 AM
Re: Dumb.
Oh, the potential for government abuse is staggering on this.  

Imagine what this will be like when cell phones are linked to the computers in cars, for more than just making calls (as promised by Apple and several automakers).  The hand of Government will be able to reach in and take over through Sync (or whatever system the car is using), or misdirect your turn-by-turn directions to go where they want you to go.

If you don't think this is possible, you're entirely wrong.  This is possible *now* with a few $$$ of untracable off-the-shelf parts, and a cell version is coming really soon: http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/06/your-car-s-computer-system-can-be-compromised-with-off-the-shelf/

If it isn't the government doing this, why not anyone with a moderate skill set?  Gosh, what little remotely-sent flash of signal down a cold wire could tell a car's computer to report a false engine problem, just to get a regular visit to a dealership?

All good intentions, foolish Californians...

 
Donald Sauter
50%
50%
Donald Sauter,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2014 | 12:03:25 PM
a step in the right direction...
Hey, this is a step in the right direction!  Now what we need is a little explosive charge in each cell phone so if you're within 20 feet, say, of somebody squawking on one in public and being rude and annoying you and everybody else around (sorry about the string of redundancies), you press the little transmitter in your pocket and... ker-zappp!  Time to buy a new one!  Tough love!  Be thankful you weren't blown away by some guy mad as heck and not gonna take it anymore! 

 Donald Sauter
CLAFOUNTAIN100
0%
100%
CLAFOUNTAIN100,
User Rank: Strategist
2/8/2014 | 2:09:39 PM
Re: a step in the right direction...
Kill Switch legislation is for people who can't afford a replacement phone.  

When items like this are lost, or "stolen" (usually "Left Behind" is the most accurate words),  it's usually because the owner makes a conscientious decision.  They also don't personally believe the phone or device is has value to purchase insurance.

Point being, often, people (especially women) say their phone was "stolen" so they can be a victim of circumstance, instead of being empowered to make a decision.

As things are more connected by the internet, it seems that personal responsibility is the most important fleeting skill of the younger generation.   Just remember, one of Steve Jobs' finest developers left an iPhone at a bar, probably to pick up chicks.  That phone probably wasn't worth much to that Apple developer that left it behind!

In any situation, whist continuing on the existing path, Apple will most likely become the next Nortel within 5-10 years;  but unlike Nortel, Apple's business model is based on egos, and token trophies. (the younger generation loves this..!)

With Apple's $180B in cash, I think a lot of people are paying Apple too much for a brand name.  Margins like this are absolutely obscene; and it doesn't take much thought to figure out the price is set too high, and consumers are getting unreasonably screwed by Apple's monopoly on these types of patents.
Adam_
100%
0%
Adam_,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2014 | 2:24:49 PM
Bad Idea
What would happen:


Hackers, government, etc. would kill the phones of legitimate users

Thieves would just canabalize your phone anyways -- someones phone display is cracked, they swap out the display with one that they stole.

Once again, the path to he|| is paved with good intentions.
jries921
50%
50%
jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
2/8/2014 | 2:26:39 PM
I'm not at all sure I'm in favor of this
Certainly, we want such phones to be available, but we should avoid unnecessary barriers to entry (the mobile phone market needs more competition, not less).  If the California Legislature wants to dictate standards, a more important one would be that the owner of the phone be accorded ultimate control of the device with the absolute right to use it in any manner he sees fit, as long as it's legal; to use his device on any network that will have him; and to make whatever modifications to it he thinks proper as long as it does't interfere with the ability of others to use their own devices, the ID remains unaltered, and no attempt is made to steal services for which one hasn't paid (but a carrier who depends on control of the devices on his network to maintain security is an idiot).

 
unitedtruth
50%
50%
unitedtruth,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2014 | 2:46:17 PM
Don't fall for this propaganda
I'm in the wireless industry, this is being pushed by the big cell phone providers to help remove the pre paid wireless market. The fact is, stolen phones aren't a problem. And what constitutes as a "stolen" phone who decides? These guys want to sell televisions, and control what channel you tune to unless they receive their ROI in full! And if the customer can't pay, they will brick your phone and still charge you full price for an asset they just bricked. It screams anti trust suit.the Justice department needs to get involved and make the rules fair.
ObadiahC218
50%
50%
ObadiahC218,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2014 | 2:49:14 PM
Kill Switch could be a very good idea
One very good thing that could come out of the addition of a 'kill switch' - phones could be set to automatically cease operation in the proximity of a car's driver seat, making it impossible to text or call while driving (or operating a train, or airliner for that matter). Preventing distracted driving "accidents" would be a fantastic use for this technology.
anon6297107716
50%
50%
anon6297107716,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2014 | 3:06:18 PM
Re: a step in the right direction...
To deter thieves it would be better to have a small built-in explosive charge that could be activated by the victim (text "86thief" to the phone) and set off when the perp tries to use the stolen phone.
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Howard Marks talks about steps to take in choosing the right cloud storage solutions for your IT problems
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.