Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
2/15/2014
09:06 AM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Smartphone Kill Switch Could Become Federal Law

Smartphone Theft Protection Act would require mobile phone makers to include a way to disable communications devices remotely to deter theft.

Android Security: 8 Signs Hackers Own Your Smartphone
Android Security: 8 Signs Hackers Own Your Smartphone
(click image for larger view)

A week after California State Senator Mark Leno (D-CA) proposed a bill requiring a kill switch for smartphones sold in the state, federal lawmakers have put forward a similar bill.

On Thursday, US Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced national legislation to require a way to disable smartphones remotely. The goal is to deter theft and protect consumers, but this defense against thieves might come with greater vulnerability to hackers, according to a mobile industry trade group.

Certainly, mobile phone theft is a serious problem. Mobile phone thefts account for 30% to 40% of all robberies in major cities nationwide, according to the FCC, and that figure is said to be as high as 50% in markets like San Francisco. According to Consumer Reports, 1.6 million Americans were victimized by smartphone thieves in 2012.

"Cell phone theft has become a big business for thieves looking to cash in on these devices and any valuable information they contain, costing consumers more than $30 billion every year and endangering countless theft victims," Senator Klobuchar said in a statement. "This legislation will help eliminate the incentives for criminals to target smartphones by empowering victims to take steps to keep their information private, protect their identity and finances, and render the phone inoperable to the thieves."

[Smartphones will only become more ubiquitous. Read 1 Billion Smartphones Shipped In 2013.]

The text of the Smartphone Theft Protection Act is not yet available online and a call to Senator Klobuchar's office was not immediately returned.

Law enforcement officials, notably San Francisco district attorney George Gascón and New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman, have been pushing phone makers to adopt kill switches since last year. But mobile carriers have resisted, according to Gascón, because they make billions annually from selling theft insurance to their subscribers.

Image: Bill Selak (Flickr)
Image: Bill Selak (Flickr)

The mobile industry says a kill switch requirement could increase the chance of being hacked. The CTIA, a telecom industry group, points out that a kill switch would necessarily be triggered by the remote transmission of a kill message and the technical details involved would be widely known among mobile operators. Inevitably, the group argues, hackers would learn how to send these messages maliciously, thereby shutting down phones permanently -- a kill switch is no good if it's reversible because thieves would presumably be able to use the same recovery tools as theft victims.

"[A kill switch] could be used to disable entire groups of customers, such as Department of Defense, Homeland Security or emergency services/law enforcement," says the CTIA, which has been promoting software tracking and data erasure options for smartphones alongside theft prevention measures and phone insurance.

The urge to create electronic tethers to protect property has moved beyond mobile phones in Europe, where authorities reportedly have been developing a kill switch for cars as a defense against dangerous car chases.

Engage with Oracle president Mark Hurd, Box founder Aaron Levie, UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh, GE Power CIO Jim Fowler, former Netflix cloud architect Adrian Cockcroft, and other leaders of the Digital Business movement at the InformationWeek Conference and Elite 100 Awards Ceremony, to be held in conjunction with Interop in Las Vegas, March 31 to April 1, 2014. See the full agenda here.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Tom Mariner
67%
33%
Tom Mariner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/15/2014 | 10:38:50 AM
The end of America as we know it
We are blindly ignoring a single individual stealing our most intimate decisions from us. The Administration that takes its every order from the President has just siezed your smartphone -- If you don't think they will turn it off if they find you criticizing the current guys in power, you are ignoring the IRS and the 2012 elections. (Don't turn off if you think this is partisan junk, it ain't)

The President now owns a sixth of our economy and your health through the ACA (Obamacare). He is in the process of having his FCC seize the means of getting you information over the Internet through items like green lighting the Comcast merger and killing Net Neutrality. The favorable treatment of airline mergers means there will soon be a single carrier telling you where you can go. The banking laws are being controlled through the means of "telling banks how to treat marijuana money even though it is still federally illegal".

You think you have protection because of the "three branches of government"? The President OWNS the Senate that has not made a move for the past five years without his OK. One more appointment to the Supreme Court and it will be as "rubber stamp" as the 111'th (Pelosi) House was.

This joke that the mandated "kill switch" is for "our own good" because we Americans are too stupid to make up our own mind is transparent to techies, but the vast majority of those that keep the party in power believe the simple slogans and well-covered pseudo press conferences and vote for rock stars!

If we in the information industry do not stand up and yell, who is going to prevent a single person from shutting off our ability to communicate with one another when he or she feels it is in their interest? Quickly!!! This "kill switch" insanity was a stupid idea in the California legislature just last week!
CraigS731
50%
50%
CraigS731,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 10:54:30 AM
Re: The end of America as we know it
Of course our government can't be trusted, but that didn't begin in 2012.   Tom Mariner gives Obama too much credit... he's a figurehead.  His comments sound like the usual off-topic, partisan B.S., despite his claim to the contrary. 
The cel-phone kill-switch is a bad idea.... but not for the reasons Mr. Mariner gave.
Tom Mariner
100%
0%
Tom Mariner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/15/2014 | 11:12:40 AM
Re: The end of America as we know it
Of course the power grab by a sitting President is not isolated to our Present President. Let me make it crystal clear, just so we don't ignore this vital issue because some partisan accuses someone else of being the same: Any President -- Male, Female, Republican, Democrat, past, present, future cannot be allowed to do this.

Just to answer the accusation that I am a Republican jerk attacking Our President because he is not ... My candidate for President in 2016 is a liberal Democrat -- because he is doing a great job for our state and knows when to put his ego on the shelf and work with a legislature!

But do not ignore the very real threat that an Administration can and will shut off individual phones! Do you really want to have to whispering about a government in power in back alleys?

And if you think I am upset with a federal government and a President for siezing power during an administration that lives and breathes political campaigning 24 by 7, wait until the fury that we unleash on a Republican Administration that is supposed to at least mouth the word "Constitution".
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2014 | 7:41:50 AM
Re: The end of America as we know it
In the event that a Smartphone has been stolen, remote tracking could also be enabled by law enforcing agencies. However, this too could be used by criminals to track innocent consumers and victimizing them. There will always be a trade-off when any new measure is enabled. Making a decision is difficult, the losses needs to be mapped up against the benefits and all in a timely fashion, because freezing/inactivity could also cause an increase in losses down the road.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2014 | 4:39:53 PM
Re: The end of America as we know it
I believe that there is two sides of this. One side is consumers. They believe that it is ridiculous given where technology is that wireless carriers aren't capable of kill switches. 

The reality is that the carriers are capable of doing it. The problem, however, is that implementing this is going to cost money and time that the carrier would rather utilize in the form of making more money. Kill switches don't make a carrier money, it's just another regulation that they will have to eat costs on. 
TRICE277
100%
0%
TRICE277,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 4:31:36 PM
Re: The end of America as we know it
This is all silly. Implementing a Kill Switch on smart phones is such a horribly bad idea I barely know where to start. We can't trust the carriers to keep up with security fixes in the Smart Phone OS's, no way they are going to keep the Kill Switch system secure. Imagine some 13yr punk getting into the system? It's bad enough getting crank calls from them, imagine if they can kill your phone! My iPhone currently has all the technology I need to keep some jerk out of my data. Hardware level encryption and a secure password. The problem is that most people are to freaking LAZY to implement the settings. 10 bad password attempts and the phone is wiped. Data secured. The phone company can always get GPS coordinates off the phone if someone tries to use it, but most likely I would just cancel the service and report it stolen. I would then expect the phone companies to not activate it for someone else later.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2014 | 7:48:21 AM
Re: The end of America as we know it
Good point, consumers need to take control of their security as well. If proper encryption is enabled then even if the phone is stolen then at least the data would not fall into the wrong hands. And lock down of hardware can also be utilized by consumers rendering the hardware useless, over time if it is not profitable for someone to steal a phone then the black market would implode on itself.
hertfordkc
100%
0%
hertfordkc,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 10:42:31 AM
Smart Phone kill switch...by government mandate???
There are apps that can accomplish this.  You don't need a government mandate to do it.  If you aren't smart enough to figure it out, you probably don't need a smart phone.  
Adam_
100%
0%
Adam_,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 11:14:33 AM
The federal government would love for this to become law.
Why?  Because it would be super easy for them to disable EVERYONES communication at the flip of a switch.

Scenario 1:  0bama crowns himself king of the USA.  Revolts are brewing... government flips switch on civilian phones...voila.


Scenario 2: If the government can kill switch your phone, so can hackers.


The best part of all is the kill switch would do absolutely NOTHING to stop or deter theft.  Why? Because most phones are stolen for parts (e.g. the screen is removed from the stolen phone and sold to a repair shop so they can fix a customer's cracked display at a cheap price)

 

Once again, the governments "solution" doesn't solve any problem and threatens the liberties of all Americans.
WonderMike
100%
0%
WonderMike,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 12:06:02 PM
im not getting my stolen phone back either way
and a kill switch wont stop the theif from removing the sd card and downloading it to pc. this isnt to protect consumers, this is to silence dissidence.
simbaji
100%
0%
simbaji,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 1:24:07 PM
U.S. Government Seeks To Be Democratic Regime
Over the years, the U.S. has criticized countries around the world for behaviors that repressed "democracy" or personal freedoms of those countries citizens. Slowly and methodically, however, the United States has worked on instituting nearly every policy and behavior that it publically denounced. Perhaps it is because those countries don't have elected officials like the U.S. does, perhaps it's because they weren't friendly to U.S. interests. Whatever the case, the American people are watching thier once great country become the next regime of the world right before their eyes. Americans would do well to see through the misdriections of their own government before the kill-switch on democracy itself is finally flipped on.
dgettier
0%
100%
dgettier,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 1:47:26 PM
Well I for one
Well I for one am very irritated that there is not a kill switch on phones already, that could provide at least some level of protection of my personal data and of the phone itself, and hopefully make stealing phones at least unprofitable/less profitable. The reason we don't have this inexpensive feature now? Is because mobile carriers like it when phones get stolen.   
Adam_
100%
0%
Adam_,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 2:14:13 PM
Re: Well I for one
There is software (apps) that you can install to erase your data in the manner you describe. Most devices are not being stolen for data, but for their parts.  For example, the thief will dismantle your phone and sell the display, battery, etc. to repair shops.  When someone comes into the repair shop with a broken display, they swap displays and make a profit.  A kill switch will do nothing to prevent these type of chop-shop operations.
dgettier
0%
100%
dgettier,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 2:25:29 PM
Re: Well I for one
@Adam: if the kill switch in fact doesn't work,  then no I certainly don't think it should be law. I have read in previous articles that it would be effective at some level. Who knows.
TimO369
50%
50%
TimO369,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 2:40:43 PM
Re: Well I for one
The govt does not need kill switch technology to shut down your phones - if they want to shut down communications, they just shut down the cell towers and networks.  The powers to be have the contigency plans and technology in place to accomplish this - it is standard planning for war - control communications...
PaulS681
50%
50%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2014 | 4:59:19 PM
Re: Well I for one
 

@Tim..I'm sure what you say is true but they aren't going to shutdown cell towers because one phone was stolen. The kill switch is to wipe the data from the phone and render it useless.
PaulS681
50%
50%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2014 | 5:03:38 PM
Re: Well I for one
@Adam... Tis won't stop chop shop operations. If your phone is reported stolen with most carriers they will place it on a stolen list and you will not be able to activate it again. This doesnt stop them from getting data off of it or selling it for parts.
HoldenM410
50%
50%
HoldenM410,
User Rank: Strategist
2/17/2014 | 7:01:35 AM
Re: Well I for one
You don't have to irritated, a quick search on Google play will offer you many apps that will lock and locate your phone. You don't need big brother to hold your hand and make a law for you. The resources are there for you to do it yourself if you want it.
jries921
100%
0%
jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2014 | 2:02:45 PM
Still a bad idea
Computing devices, mobile or otherwise, should be under the control of their owners; not the manufacturers, not the mobile carriers or ISPs, not the OS vendors, and certainly not the police.  And as I noted the last time this subject came up, this is a needless barrier to entry at a time when we're suffereing from a lack of competition.  Laws like this one will only make the problem worse.

The consumer would be better served by giving him the ability to disable his own phone, if he wants to pay for the capability (and if it's popular, it will become commonplace).  Middlemen should have nothing to do with it, except as the agents of the customers.

 
dgettier
50%
50%
dgettier,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 2:20:56 PM
Re: Still a bad idea
I like your post, and agree that the kill switch should be in the hands of the owners.  However, there is a misconception (among non-economists) that if there is a need, it will always be satisfied. Cell phones are an excellent example. Cell phone makers are making billions preventing the kill switch feature. Cigerettes are another example... RJ Reynolds would not admit to the negative effects of cigerettes, even before Congress.  Food/Restaurants are another example... remove the FDA, and see how safe our food supply remains.  The Cell phone kill switch will not occur unless the government makes it happen.  And I for one am tired of waiting for this simple and effective mechanism to prevent crime and identity theft, only because it is more profitable for cell phone companies to do the wrong thing. 
jries921
100%
0%
jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2014 | 6:16:50 PM
Re: Still a bad idea
I agree that the mere existence of wants and needs is not enough to guaranteed that they'll be filled efficiently, though the existence of a free market makes it much more likely than otherwise.  And while my previous post may not have sounded like it, I do actually believe in activist government, though I also think that it behooves politicians and bureaucrats to be careful when intervening, as the Law of Unintended Consequences is always with us.

One of the big problems I see with the cellular telephone market is that the distribution channel is almost completely controlled by the carriers, and for the most part, that means the whole industry is dominated by an oligopoly (there are still some regional carriers, but they're relatively unimportant).  And while carriers typically carry a variety of devices from various manufacturers, the market is not, in my opinion, nearly competitive enough.  So if government is going to intervene, it should not be by raising barriers to entry, which a kill switch mandate would definitely do; but by doing what it can to insure that people can buy their own devices independently of the carriers, and use them on whatever networks will have them; thus reducing or eliminating the control of the carriers over the distribution channel; also doing what it can to minimize barriers to entry for both device manufacturers and carriers (we want more small players).

And you may or may not be old enough to remember a time when cellular telephones were considered a luxury item and were priced accordingly.  Markets often change in unpredictable ways, especially if there isn't a tight little non-cartel running things.  While the market for cellular phones isn't what I'd like it to be, it is still the case that popular features tend to get copied, and the price of manufacturing devices keeps on going down.  So I don't think it a stretch to predict that if the kill switch proves popular, it is highly likely to become a standard feature (just like cameras), even if they are not mandated.  And even now, many smartphones can be locked by the user (this appears to be a standard feature of Android, and I wouldn't be surprised if iOS and Windows Phone have it as well).

Personally, I see the kill switch as one more way to hack into my phone, which doesn't make me warm and fuzzy.

 

 
dgettier
50%
50%
dgettier,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 7:02:53 PM
Re: Still a bad idea
@jries921: Great comments. A couple of responses to consider:

1. "...mere existence of wants and needs is not enough to guarantee that they'll be filled efficiently, though the existence of a free market makes it much more likely than otherwise.".


At times good things never occur because of things like Externalities for example (when a 3rd person is effected, but not compensated), which incentatives bad behavior. A classic example is when the Hudson River in the early 70's caught fire. Factories were dumping toxic chemicals into the river because there were no costs associated with this. They were litteraly incentized to maximize dumping deadly chemicals into the river, until ground rules were established by the EPA that is. The kill switch might be an example of something that would never occur on its own, because it reduces profits. There are many other ways that our free market system doesn't work like Adam Smith (and everyone) would like it to (Transparency, Disparity, Public Goods, BoomBust, etc. etc).

2. "So if government is going to intervene, it should not be by raising barriers to entry, which a kill switch mandate would definitely do."

I don't see the kill switch as much of barrier. I may be wrong here, but my understanding based on what I've read is that it is actually pretty minor to implement.

Another thing to consider is that competition increases when good ground rules are established. Compare the cell phone industries in Europe to those here. Early on Europe's governments got together and created a set of basic rules (e.g. homogenious infrastructures, exchangable SIM Cards, Texting across carriers, abiltiy to exchange phones, works in the US. etc.). With this confusion out of the way, they quickly surpassed the US, who weren't even texting at the time (~2004?). We still have 6 or 7 different incompatable infrastrures, which reduce coverage for all, and requires constant phone exchanges.  This all means more expense, with less service.  The study I read was a while ago, and I don't know who the two compare today (truth in lending).

I would only be in favor of a kill switch if a) it works, and b) if I held the encrytped password which could authorize this feature. The interesting question to me is what should we do if a) and b) are true.  Would folks still be against it.  
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2014 | 8:04:23 AM
Re: Still a bad idea
Good point, a need is not always fulfilled by market forces. Demand on the other hand is always fulfilled by the market. This does not mean that in order to protect a phone everyone has to pay for it however, if they do want security at no direct cost than, indirectly they can spend 3 or 4 hours searching for the right solution, or just ask a tech savvy friend.
dgettier
50%
50%
dgettier,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/17/2014 | 8:23:46 AM
Re: Still a bad idea
Not sure I understand your distinction between need and demand. In my Hudson river example, the consumer will be waiting on the banks of the polluted river with their jet ski in tow....   a very long time. However the River will never become clean since factories make a profit by dumping their excess wastes in it for free.  You need the EPA.  So no, I don't think the cell phone industry will ever give the consumer a remote ability to flash EEPROMs, rendering the cell phone useless. Why, because this reduce the actual number of phones stolen. JMHO.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2014 | 8:57:07 AM
Re: Still a bad idea
I was making "need" as a desire without the willingness to pay for security and "demand" as the willingness to pay for security either directly or indirectly by education/updating their security procedures. At the most it would take someone about an hour to for example, locate the Android Device Manager page on their computer and setup "lock and ease".

You make a valid point, if phone companies are profiting with huge sums of profits by not enable security then security will continue to remain a secondary, on the flip side it is also important for phone companies to have a consumer base that uses their data plan (generating revenue), just like Google likes it when consumers are online and generating data.
tkeller852
50%
50%
tkeller852,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/18/2014 | 7:24:28 PM
Re: Still a bad idea
This whole idea has been totally made folly by law enforcement and the carriers.  I had my phone stolen, I tracked it very easily using the child location feature available as a trial and told them the address in a trailor park aross town where it was located,

The response was universal, we don't bother with stolen cell phones. exercise your insurance to get it replaced.

Until it results in some consequence for someone other than we simple customers, nothing is going to change.

They shut it off with protest till I suggested legal action.  It then only took minutes for it to no longer make calls.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2014 | 8:31:32 AM
Re: Still a bad idea
I think you hit the nail right on the head.  There are many free and built in services to locate or wipe a lost device.  Android and iOS both have these built in you just have to activate them.  The problem comes when the device is stolen and you get no help getting it back.  There are a handful of vigilante videos and stories floating around out there and I hope that trend does not continue because eventually someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed trying to get their phone back.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2014 | 1:05:36 PM
Re: Still a bad idea
That's a great point, one would imagine that as soon as technology enabled tracking (GPS in Smartphone etc), law enforcement would be more than willing to track the stolen phone. Granted, the value of a phone is not equal to the amount it costs to carry out a recovery operation however, if it becomes common knowledge that tracking will be used then in the long run criminals would not want to risk it.

 
JakeB679
100%
0%
JakeB679,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2014 | 2:43:02 PM
Dont let it happen
As I stated in other forums, the kill switch is the best weapon you can have to hand over to technology terrorist.
I for one will never own a smartphone with this feature. But the really ugly here is this is the first step in to making federal law to tell us what we can have installed on our computers phones and mobile devices,.  Mark my words we will be like the chinese networks.

 

Other than this being a huge money grab
PaulS681
50%
50%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2014 | 5:05:31 PM
Remote Wipe
We use SCCM and it does have a Wipe option for phones which does work. This isnt a kill switch but it will wipe your phone. If its wiped and reported stolen theres not a whole lot you can do with it.
MatthewMStonebr
0%
100%
MatthewMStonebr,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/16/2014 | 3:42:43 PM
jobs for all job holders
my best friend's step-mother makes $64 an hour on the computer . She has been without work for 6 months but last month her pay check was $12055 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not check here.........  WWW.Dub30.COM
lpop679
50%
50%
lpop679,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/16/2014 | 11:21:13 PM
Just See And Decide
Parents who want to spend more time with their children
-Trailing military spouses
-Retirees
-Stay at home moms
-Students
-Retirees
-or anyone else needing supplemental income
We can help you... Visit us and sign up at our website and you can start earning from online work.

 

Start here>>>>> www.Bay91.Com
HoldenM410
100%
0%
HoldenM410,
User Rank: Strategist
2/17/2014 | 7:22:49 AM
Don't need it don't want it
My note 3 is one of the more expensive phones and no way do I want a pre installed kill feature. I'll install one myself if I want it. I would be interested to know how they would plan on implementing it, 5 minutes out of the box and my phones are unlocked and I have root access, usually flashing a new rom. I then remove or quarantine unwanted bloatware. I'm no tech genius and I'm not doing anything that is complicated, most people that graduated sandbox can figure it out. I don't see any benefits to a law mandating kill switches. The idiot kid who wants to steal a phone because he wants one is going to be too stupid to realize their is a kill switch and steal it anyway. The smart thieves want your phone for parts, they don't care about kill switches. The smarter thieves that want your data know exactly how to get around these locks. And to top it off a remote entity good or bad can shut you down. No thanks, if it becomes law I will be exploring ways to disable it on my own phone
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2014 | 7:39:11 AM
Re: Don't need it don't want it
Totally agree. If anything, this will provide a new feature for malware makers to use for randsomeware - give us $XXX or we'll brick your phone. 
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2014 | 11:24:59 PM
Re: Don't need it don't want it
@Whoopty: And then, of course, create an additional market for smartphone security software makers.  ;)
rradina
50%
50%
rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2014 | 8:21:01 AM
The Internet Of Things...
Stolen phones are a problem.  If they cost our government (i.e. occupying law enforcement), then it has a duty to reduces those costs through any and all reasonable means within the boundaries of the constitution (up to and including telling folks they'll do nothing).  

If stolen phones don't cost our government, then the government should excercise restraint and allow the industry to resolve the issue.  Since Congress is involving itself, there must be ample customer desire for change.  The market will decide the best way to take care of the issue.

Regarding the carriers being against the kill switch becaue they sell insurance, that assumes insurance is purchased because a kill switch does not exist.  Plenty of phones are lost/damaged due to events that have nothing to do with theft and a mandatory kill switch will do nothing to address those events.
BellaLeirTingle
100%
0%
BellaLeirTingle,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/17/2014 | 11:06:48 AM
Just Some Thoughts....
1) The kill switch and insurance have nothing do do with one another. Software is not covered under device protection plans.

2) Device / Handset insurance only covers physical damage to the phone. Software related issues are the responsibility of the device owner.

3) Insurance companies started to loose LARGE sums of moeny on LT (Loss & Theft Claims) so they are actually starting to exclude L/T from policies unless you pay a large premium, with a large deductible.

4) MDM and most BYOD programs implemented by companies already have kill switches remotly installed via app on their devices so they can protect company data in the event of a breach (i.e. theft of device)

5) Most people have the capacity to do this on their own through an app. This is like the Federal Government coming into our homes and telling us we have to have anti-virus software on our PC's due to identity theft.

 

Sorry Government. My device. My money. My risk. Concentrate on educating the public on how they are able to protect themselves, instead of passing a law to give a third-party access to my device, who I did not authorize. Don't. Think. So.
owade83
50%
50%
owade83,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/17/2014 | 12:09:24 PM
Good Information All Of My Frnds
til I looked at the bank draft of $8167 , I be certain ...that...my brother had been realie making money part time from there labtop. . there aunt has done this for less than a year and just repayed the depts on there appartment and bought a great new BMW M3 . pop over to this web-site

>>>>>>> www.bay91.com
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2014 | 11:27:34 PM
Optional would be nice...
This reminds me of that quote Peter Arnett attributed to that US Major years ago...

"It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."

So...great...  Let's mandate a huge vulnerability in all devices, because that's what's necessary to protect them.
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Author
2/18/2014 | 4:37:04 PM
DARPA is working on its own approach
For a look at how the Kill switch might actually work, read one approach DARPA is funding: IBM Develops Self-Destructing Chips For DARPA.
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, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
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.