Every smartphone owner fears the day when they lose his or her precious device. With so much data and information being incorporated into these gadgets, it would be a total disaster they fell into the wrong hands.
Lawmakers in New York and San Francisco had an idea to remedy this, according to the New York Times. The proposal was software that would enable owners to disable their phones immediately from any location.
The program, led by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, was being developed through a partnership by Samsung Electronics. However, this development hit a major roadblock when several mobile carriers including AT&T and Verizon Wireless shut it down.
Carriers needed to approve the measure first. According to the San Francisco D.A. George Gascon, the emails he read that went back and forth between him, Samsung, and the companies involved implied that it was because they didn’t want to remove the revenue stream of mobile phone insurance which is why they rejected the “kill switch” idea.
CTIA, the wireless association which lobbies for these providers argues that they erected an initiative like this before. That particular project involved constructing a stolen phone database which helped providers find stolen devices.
Critics of this idea argued that the database was ineffective. There was no support for smartphones that were snatched overseas. Despite this possible setback, Samsung and its partners said they’ll continue pushing for a the so-called kill switch for lost or stolen smartphones.