New York lawmakers have praised Apple for enabling “kill switch” software by default on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The release of the iOS 8 software also means that the switch is rolling out to previous iPhone models as people update their phones.
The new phones come equipped with a tool, known as a “kill switch,” that can remotely lock and wipe data on a device in case of theft. Triggering the kill switch makes an iPhone effectively useless, deterring thieves from stealing the new iPhone 6.
According to Reuters, New York District Attorney George Gascón spoke out on the new security feature, saying “This is a game changer, this is a major development that will change behaviour on the street and eventually turn around this violent epidemic.”
Apple first added a kill switch option in Sept. 2013 with the launch of its latest mobile operation system: iOS 7. But until now, the switch has to be activated by the user in the system settings. The move to enable it by default has been prompted by increased pressure on smartphone companies to keep devices secure in case of theft.
Lawmakers across the US have passed legislation requiring smartphone manufacturers to enable their kill switches by default. All phones sold in California will need a kill switch enabled by default from July 2015. Apple had previously signed a voluntary agreement in April with other smartphone companies to introduce the mandatory kill switch software to new phones.