"We are calling on cellphone manufacturers to act as responsible corporate citizens by designing their product with technology that would render stolen phones inoperable," Nutter told reporters at a news conference with Kane and
Nutter described smartphone theft as epidemic. Kane cited a study by
"Our citizens are literally dying for smartphones," Kane said. "The amount of violent crimes, robberies, and deaths is very, very alarming to me."
She cited Lookout's estimate that American consumers spend
"That's quite an incentive for the manufacturers . . . an incentive for them to make sure that they don't have kill switches," Kane said. "But we know that they're better than that . . . and that they will do more to protect their consumers and make sure that profits do not come before lives."
Several firms have developed software to improve smartphone security.
The mayor's figures did not include situations where cellphones were taken by force or threat of force -- a crime that would be categorized as robbery, not theft.
When Lookout issued its
The numbers suggested U.S. consumers had as much or more to fear from forgetfulness as theft. Lookout said that it had located nine million lost smartphones in 2011, and that a typical consumer loses a cellphone once a year.
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