Smartphone thefts reduce in NY, London and California with Kill Switch

Smartphone thefts reduce in NY, London and California with Kill Switch

The implementation of kill switch in iPhone and android based smartphones has results in reduction in the number of thefts of smartphones. With kill switch, the owners can remotely disable the devices, rendering it useless for anyone who steals the phone. The disabled and locked phone using the kill switch option can’t be used or sold further and this is the main reason for decline in thefts.

In San Francisco, the iPhone thefts have reduced by 40 percent. In London, BBC report said that the number of thefts for smartphones have reduced by 50 percent. In New York, the thefts have reportedly declined by 25 percent. Nearly 12 months back, Apple added kill switch to iPhones with its update for iOS 7.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said that the results of introduction of kill switch are encouraging. The kill switch option disables the phone and it can’t reset or accessed. Only with passcode and unique ID, the phone can be enabled. In London, the number of crimes involving smartphone stealing has reduced by 20,000 in a year.

California also introduced the legistation to make kill switch as an option turned on by default. The smartphone companies and telecom majors are opposing the law. The positive impact of the introduction of kill switch will prompt other states to also adopt the measure to make it mandatory. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said, "The wireless industry continues to roll out sophisticated new features, but preventing their own customers from being the target of a violent crime is the coolest technology they can bring to market."

In 2013, New York Police Department reported more than 8,000 incidents of iPhone or iPad snatching on subways and streets.

Chip maker Qualcomm announced that it will introduce hardware-based kill switch to be termed SafeSwitch in its future processors. This will make it easier for smartphone manufacturers to easily implement the safety feature in their newer models.

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