News Column

Microsoft, Google to Launch Smartphone Anti-Theft Features to New Operating Systems

July 4, 2014

Eugene Okumu

Microsoft and Google are set to join Apple in incorporating a kill-switch feature to future versions of the Windows Phone and Android operating systems. This will be a major security measure against theft of handsets which will be rendered useless once the kill-switch which can be triggered remotely is activated.

Apple which had included an activation lock option for iPhones running on the iOs 7 software version recorded a 24 per cent decline in its handsets being reported stolen in London, 38 per cent in San Francisco, and 19 per cent in New York.

"An active kill-switch converts an easy-to-sell, high-value multimedia device into a jumble of plastic and glass, drastically reducing its street value," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, according to

The kill-switch features not only deter theft as robbers cannot trade in stolen smartphones, but also serves to protect a user's data. The feature cannot be disabled by a factory reset, but requires the owner's user authentication code on the iPhone. If this trend catches on, smartphone theft could well be a thing of the past as stolen items will not have a market.

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Source: AllAfrica

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