Three metropolitan cities (London, San Francisco and New York) reported a decrease in cell phone thefts since the “Kill Switch” feature has been introduced.
New York reported a 16 percent decrease in cell phone burglaries between January 2013 and December 2014. During the same period, the number of stolen iPhones decreased by 25 percent.
In San Francisco, cell phone theft was 27 percent less frequent while iPhone burglaries dropped by 40 percent.
London reported a 40 percent decrease in cell phone thefts and 38 percent less smartphone thefts that involved violent altercations between October 2013 and October 2014. Officials estimate there are now 20,000 fewer cell phone theft victims annually due to the increase in anti-phone theft technology.
The kill switch technology was developed thanks to the collaboration between Mayor Johnson, George Gascon, San Francisco District Attorney and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with the common purpose of lowering the rate of cell phone thefts.
Eric Schneiderman explained how after having met with families who had lost loved ones because of violent cell phone robberies, they decided it was necessary to raise awareness regarding this matter and encourage the cell phone industry to adopt the kill switch feature.
The first U.S state to have made this technology a compulsory built-in smartphone feature was California. The law should become effective by July 2015.
Some manufacturers have been developing such security applications for a while now. Apple’s Activation Lock, an application that operates on iOS7 has been on the market since September 2013. This security feature demands an Apple ID and password in order to restart the handset once it’s been remotely wiped.
As a result, the number of stolen iPhones dropped by June 2014.
Besides Apple, some important handset manufacturers and carriers such as AT&T, Google, HTC, Motorola, Samsung and Verizon have also promised to incorporate the kill switch feature into their new handsets in the course of this year.
William Bratton, New York Police Commissioner stated that due to this new technology restricts the marketability of stolen phones and electronic devices thus reducing the number of cell phone motivated crimes.
Let’s just hope thieves don’t come up with a solution to the kill switch technology.
Image Source: Katu