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Google and Microsoft follow Apple with Kill Switches in their OS
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Google and Microsoft follow Apple with Kill Switches in their OS

In September of last year, Apple introduced a Kill Switch option to remotely render your iPhone useless in case of ...

Google and Microsoft follow Apple with Kill Switches in their OS

In September of last year, Apple introduced a Kill Switch option to remotely render your iPhone useless in case of theft. Activated with the Find My iPhone service, it lets you brick your phone when you’re sure it was stolen so that nosy thieves can’t get into your private data.

 

Law-makers in California and New York loved the feature. After seeing very positive results (theft of Apple devices dropped 17% in New York, 38% in San Francisco, and 24% in London), they pushed through the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative in April, which will force mobile operating system giants Google and Microsoft to add a similar feature to their devices.

 

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“Kill switches make a lot of sense,” says mobile analyst Ken Dulaney. “We have to stop people stealing phones. But if it’s not done well and causes a lot of support calls to carriers, it’s not going to help. If it’s done properly, it’s a great thing to have.”

 

Google and Microsoft will now be required to install Kill Switches in their Android and Windows Phone operating systems. Google said it would release details of its Kill Switch soon, while Windows announced it would roll it out as an update to its Windows Phone OS. Both are required to incorporate the Kill Switches into their software by next year.

 

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