Sunday, November 24, 2013

COMMON SENSE: Not So Common

The family of a Chicago woman who was shot dead in St. Louis by a robber who stole her cell phone is hoping to put pressure on manufacturers to incorporate kill switches on mobile devices that would make them worthless to thieves. According to ABC7,
A group called Secure Our Smartphones is also pushing for kill switches. The initiative is led by prosecutors in San Francisco and the New York state attorney general, who met with [the victim's father]. Other members are top prosecutors in Illinois, Massachusetts and five other states; police chiefs or commissioners in Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and other major cities; and law enforcement officers nationwide.
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, says it has the technology to incorporate kill switches in its products. But wireless companies and industry lobbyists oppose the move, fearful that hackers could disable mobile devices and compromise public safety by disabling the phones of entities such as the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies.
Or maybe the real reason is NOT national security? From Gizmodo:
Carriers don't want to give you anti-theft tools because they're making too much money on stolen phones. Actually, it's the fear of stolen phones that prompts people to pay large sums of money for insurance, money that then pads the carriers' earning statements. So carriers are making money off of their customers' fear. How awesome is that?!
An online petition sponsored by Secure Our Smartphones is up HERE at Change.org

UPDATED 2:06PM: Added Gizmodo link and quote.