Will a kill switch deter smartphone theft?

stylor

It looks like all three of the major mobile universes - Apple, Microsoft, and Google - are going to have kill switches incorporated in their designs. Finally. Apple already rolled it out, to their credit, with iOS 7. How much of an impact on theft will this have? I know quite a few people who have had their phones stolen, including one person who was attacked by a robber with a baseball bat and suffered serious injuries. Will the kind of sub-human scum who would nearly kill someone to take their phone even care that it might have a kill switch?

Topic: Security
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jimlynch
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Well it certainly can't hurt to have it, and I think it will make a difference as more and more would-be thieves learn that it is pointless to steal other people's phones.

wstark
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The data shows that they will. There has been a significant decrease in robberies of Apple devices since the company implemented a “kill switch” in iOS 7. The New York Attorney General released a report showing that there was a 19% decrease in larcenies and 29% decrease in grand larcenies involving Apple products versus a year ago when there was no kill switch. Over the same period, theft of Samsung products (still no kill switch) increased 40%. Similar decreases have been reported in other London and San Francisco. Apparently, even the scum are getting the message.  

 

The companies that oppose kill switches for mobile devices have their customers’ blood on their hands. The individuals who are fighting against them because it will cost them profits are almost as bad as the people committing the actual criminals. I don’t know how they look at themselves in the mirror each day.

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