New York Attorney General Erich Schneiderman just introduced the “Secure Our Smartphones” initiative last week, but it looks like one manufacturer may already be preparing to take action. A new report from Asia suggests that Samsung could roll out a new “kill switch” feature for smartphones as early as next month.
Samsung was one of several tech companies to meet with Schneiderman to discuss the issue of smartphone theft and new preventative measures that can be implemented in future devices. One such method proposed by Schneiderman was a kill switch feature that would allow manufacturers and carriers to remotely wipe, lock and disable any smartphone so that it can no longer be used. This means that the handset wouldn’t be able to function even if the thief replaced its SIM card or registered it with a new carrier.
The idea behind this feature is that disabling a smartphone should be as simple as canceling a credit card, Schneiderman said during a press conference last week.
“We believe this is a problem that should be solvable at the very outside within a year, that all new products being produced by the first part of 2014 should have kill switches or comparable technology involved,” he said at the New York event, according to TechHive.
According to Schneiderman, roughly 30 to 40 percent of all robberies are related to smartphone theft. Apple recently unveiled a new Activation Lock feature that will come with iOS 7, which requires that anyone who swipes your phone will have to enter the owner’s iTunes credentials to re-activate it.