Wireless carriers are starting to change their mind when it comes to mandating kill switches in smartphones. Earlier this year a California Senator proposed a bill that supported the idea of kill switches. At that time AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile all were opposed to the bill. On February 27, executives from three different carriers all spoke out supporting the movement of offering kill switches, but have not yet made the claim to support the bill.
Smartphone theft is a big concern because of the amount of personal information that is stored in them. Resale value for stolen smart phones is often hundreds of dollars. By offering a kill switch in smartphones, you are offering an extra step in the defense of theft. The idea of a kill switch is that you would be able to shut down your smartphone remotely so that the thief would not be able to use the phone or even access any of your personal information.
Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and C Spire Wireless are the three companies that have stepped up and are seeking options to offer more security to their customers. Even though they are not directly supporting the bill they are all supporting it in other ways.Verizon Wireless is working with both the smartphone manufacturers and app developers to be create a program to offer free of charge for their customers. CurrentlyT-Mobile offers a locate, lock, and wipe software on all of their phones as well as participates in an international stolen-phone database. Even though C Spire Wireless is a smaller company and they do not have much control over the manufacturers they are still supporting and encouraging this initiative.
This change in opinion of these three carriers is likely to encourage other carriers to follow suit. This will put pressure on the manufactures to work together with the carriers to move quickly and resolve this kill switch issue.
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