Samsung Anti-Theft Proposal Reportedly Not Accepted by Leading Mobile Carriers

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The New York Times is reporting that AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint rejected Samsung’s proposal for a kill switch for network use of high end smartphones that have been stolen.  According to the report on The Bits blog:

… the carriers don’t think a so-called kill switch is the right way to go. In June, CTIA, the industry trade group that represents the carriers, said in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission that “a kill switch isn’t the answer.”…

The trade group added that if a phone were deactivated and the customer later retrieved it, he or she could not reactivate it. That claim is not true in the case of Apple’s new antitheft feature, Activation Lock, which allows a customer to disable a phone that has been lost, and, after it has been found, reactivate it with the correct username and password.

A prior article on the Bits blog in June reported that Apple’s approach to preventing use of stolen Smartphone got a favorable reaction:

Apple on Monday said its next mobile operating system, iOS 7, due out in the fall, will include a feature called Activation Lock that should help deter theft. The feature disables the iPhone even if a thief has turned it off or erased the data on the phone. It can be reactivated only after the user logs into it with the right Apple ID and password.

The main difference between iOS Activation Lock and Samsung’s kill switch proposal is that iOS devices under Activation Lock can be reactivated if the person in posession of the iPhone enters the correct Apple ID and Password and that Activation Lock is free on iOS 7.  According to AppleInsider’s report on the Samsung kill switch:

… emails between Samsung and phone carriers indicated that they were concerned that Samsung’s kill switch software, which is offered as an annual $29.99 subscription fee, would compete with {the cellular carriers’} own insurance offerings.



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